After 15 years of recording and performing, Thao Nguyen, of San Francisco-based band Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, was exhausted. She had been touring the band’s 2016 album A Man Alive, a critically acclaimed, bone-shaking reckoning about her relationship with her absent father. She bought a house with her girlfriend; they’re married now.
Temple is the fifth full-length album from Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. Kaleidoscopic and danceable, grounded by Thao’s singular voice, Temple feels boldly dissonant while still highly accessible. Golden, longing pop meets punk roots. Rock draws from hip-hop, funk, and folk rhythms for intricate, danceable beats. The poetic lyrics are expansive, yet shatteringly personal, inspired in part by the work of writers like James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, and Yiyun Li.. Rage, honesty, clear-eyed regret, and optimistic wisdom run parallel, finding a new way forward.