Luke Temple raises impossible expectations for his second LP by opening Snowbeast with one of 2007's best songs, "Saturday People," a trilling, rolling, delightfully disjointed indie-folk anthem packed with nonsense words delivered in a rangy, angelic voice. That voice—along with Temple's supple banjo-picking—will remind a lot of listeners of Sufjan Stevens, though Snowbeast also recalls Jeff Buckley's drama, M. Ward's atmospherics, and Feist's sense of play. Temple dabbles in timeless idioms like chamber-music and gospel, and though sometimes his free-form arrangements feel forced, Snowbeast approaches the majesty of its first song more often than not, even when Temple just builds a skeletal frame of sound and lets his voice clamber around it.

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