Temples were the odd ones out in a year full of amazing psychedelia releases; with the delayed release of their debut album, the band decided to colour the way with excellent single releases, keeping quiet about the date and details of their first full length until the very end of 2013. And when the line-up of Sun Structures was finally revealed, fans noticed that half of the album's tracks (to say the least) were already known, either via official releases or early bootlegs - and still Twitter seemed to momentarily explode when the album unexpectedly leaked earlier in the month.

The album's opening track, 'Shelter Song', is a clear reminder of how we fell in love with these guys in the first place; Temples' sound is slightly more melodic than most of the neo-psych sounds that made my year (and many others) in 2013, placing them near the nostalgic-retro vibe found via Decca's early gems like Tintern Abbey, The Poets, Andy Forray and Curiosity Shoppe. However, the title track 'Sun Structures' seems to push them further into hard rock territory (mostly due to the track's amazing riff), even if the haunting vocals keep them rooted in the East-meets-West zone - something later exacerbated by the grand 'Sand Dance', an epic essay on the new approach of psych revivalism (and a wonderful piece to be seen performed live), with Sam's drums colouring the arabic-inspired song.

Both 'The Golden Throne' and 'The Guesser' were old acquaintances for Temples' fans that found their first bootleg EP lying around the web in late 2012 when they were still a duo - even if the arrangements given on the album final mix added new touches to the tracks. Do you hear the über-perfect string section in 'Golden Throne''s chorus? That's pure George Martin, folks. And then there's Adam's keyboards at the end of the track, lending a sacred tone to the whole experience. While 'Keep In The Dark' brings us back to the folky, ritualistic sound of the band, their recently single 'Mesmerize' takes over and James' personal favourite 'Move With The Season' closes the first part. No great surprises yet, right?

As soon as you change the disc, 'Colours To Life' invades you and reminds you once again why this will probably be in many 2014 Best Album Lists; the delicacy of the tune is one of Temples' finest jewels, and by this time the fear that the album isn't going to be much more than a collection of (brilliant) singles strikes us. However, the line-up seems to have been carefully planned to avoid the strongest tunes taking the spotlight, making the other numbers disappear. The choice of placing 'A Question Isn't Answered' between 'Colours To Life' and 'The Guesser' seems to have been the right one. However, the second part of the album is less dramatic than the first one - more experimental, perhaps, and this results in a bigger homogeneity between the six tracks. Just as 'Test Of Time' takes us back to brit psych favourites like Small Faces, Cream and Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd, 'Sand Dance' works as a faux-ending for the record, letting the troubadour-esque 'Fragment's Light' do the honours.

A brilliant debut for Temples, Sun Structures' release date divided both fans and critics, with many people suggesting the band should have put the album out last year, especially if most of the songs were already ready by, say, mid-year (they were playing 'Sand Dance' live before July); it was the band's and label's choice to wait until 2014, a year that might demand the neo-psychedelia graduating from underground experimentalism and gain a bit more authority. Either way, if all 2014 psych releases are like this one, it's going to be one hell of a year.