We Are Temporary

Here’s day 16 of the PopLib New Zealand Music Month bandcamp challenge.

This one may push the boundaries of ‘New Zealand’ but if Unknown Mortal Orchestra can still qualify as ‘New Zealand’ for funding and music industry awards then former Christchurch musician Mark Roberts – formerly operating here and overseas as The Enright House – still qualifies, even though he now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Some will remember The Enright house from their album released on the A Low Hum label and their epic videos.

I discovered We Are Temporary by happy accident as it turns out it is his label Stars & Letters that released the 7” single of the brilliant ‘Sugar C.” from Misfit Mod I bought and featured here a few days ago. His own music as We Are Temporary is just as dark yet accessible as Misfit Mod. It’s a similar kind of stark electronica with a very vulnerable human heart.

There’s a great interview with Mark published just a few days ago at Under the Radar here which explains everything better than I can.

I was particularly taken with this paragraph, which is such a completely perfect (ha!) expression of my own views on imperfection/ perfection in music making. It’s one of the most important things any musician embarking on a recording project needs to learn. Too many learn it the hard way.

“In fact, far from embracing the imperfect, my initial approach to the record was to try and make it perfect, and it failed. There’s always room to tweak things, but every added layer of perfection and refinement edges out a layer of raw, emotional impact. In the end, I found myself embracing the imperfect again, but I had to fight bitterly for perfection and fail at it first. Perfection, I learned, is a goal riddled with diminishing returns.”

[Note: The original song selected was ‘Swords’ from the Stars & Letters sampler compilation. The link disappeared as ‘Swords’ was replaced by the new single ‘Satellites’ not long after posting this entry (probably Mark’s perfectionist tendencies at work). As a result I’ve decided to change the song selected to ‘Satellites’ so you can hear what We Are Temporary sounds like. I liked ‘Swords’…]