Kav Temperley

One of Australian music’s defining voices and enigmatic songwriters, Kav Temperley of Eskimo Joe has announced his debut solo release, Hope Street EP out September 9 on Inertia Music. Hope St proves a defining document in both Temperley’s life and career – a demarcation line between relationships of yonder and a voice masked behind the rock’n’roll facade.

Of his new EP, Temperley admits, “This is as honest as I get,” he laughs, with a discernible hint of uncertainty. “It’s terrifying! But it’s also liberating. There was no censoring – no towing a particular line. I suppose you could say Hope St is me burying my 20s and elegantly dancing into my late 30s. It’s about finding a new way.”

Hope St marks the first instalment of four EP releases. “They all form a complete narrative,” Temperley explains. “They take us full cycle. I wanted to present these songs in a unique format, in a different paradigm – it was an artistic challenge. Each EP tells a different part of the same story – each is a part of the whole.”

For Temperley, Hope St is about visualising the location and person you want to be, beyond the memory and within the wish.” However, “musically it revisits my past – I found myself drawn to the 70’s songwriters I was brought up on. You know, the graceful simplicity of guys like Leonard Cohen.”

This elemental approach has also carried over to the production. Largely recorded in his home studio, Temperley enlisted Pip Norman (Troye Sivan, Jarryd James, Tuka, Dan Sultan) on co-production duties – a relationship that developed into a sublime collaboration, with Norman leaving his unmistakable and enigmatic fingerprints across the recording.

“I’ve come to this strange and intriguing place in my story, with this weight of history but this very real appetite for the future,” Temperley concludes, his eyes widening in the bar’s tungsten light. “It took me so long to feel brave enough to step out on my own like this.” He cracks a wry smile. “But here I am.”