California indie-pop band The Corner Laughers are back in action — exploring themes from climate change and pastoral ponderings to childhood to the nature of time itself. Temescal Telegraph, the new album out June 5 via Big Stir Records, stands as a lively testament to the longtime band being back in full bloom.
After 2015’s critically acclaimed Matilda Effect and leader Karla Kane’s 2017 solo debut, the future of The Corner Laughers was unclear. Circumstances of geography, health and other life complications conspired to push the tight-knit quartet temporarily apart.
But music is healing, and the call of friendship and inspiration proved too strong to resist, so the band found themselves drawn back together in Oakland to create something that truly reflects The Corner Laughers of the now: a little older, a little wiser and ever more tuned in to each other and the world around them.
For their 2020 return, Kane (vocals, ukulele and most songwriting), Charlie Crabtree (drums), KC Bowman and Khoi Huynh (sharing guitar, bass and piano duties) recorded their new LP quickly and entirely in the intimate setting of Bowman’s Timber Trout studio. Set in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, the result is fostered in an organic, cohesive and present sound.
Temescal Telegraph plays with micro and macro lenses, connecting detailed personal experiences with the cosmic scale. Expect to encounter bees in harmony, environmental apocalypse, ghosts, trains, witches, fallen leaves and omniscient vultures. Current issues meet ancient echoes. Moods meander between wistful melancholy and exhilaration. A simple walk home becomes an entire universe encapsulated in a moment. To quote one of its songs, “It’s alright to care.”