The Trouble With Templeton make music that one thought had disappeared long ago. Namely, confessional, haunting pop that the listener feels guilty listening to because it feels like it comes from somewhere deeply personal and heartfelt.

Thomas Calder’s impressive, distinctive voice and songwriting skills are at the fore of The Trouble With Templeton and after several EPs, he has released his debut album, Bleeders.

The album features a gorgeously atmospheric production that really places an emphasis on Calder’s abilities as a singer and, particularly, a guitarist. The album has a sparse feel to it that is highly effective in conveying Calder’s style, attitude and approach to music.

“Growing up in Brisbane,  I was always part of a very artistic and highly creative family,” begins Calder. “My parents and siblings were heavily into their arts, whether it be painting, photography or film making. Music seemed like a totally natural fit for me ever since I was a child. The reasons and motivations for pursuing music as a career have never been calculated for me.”

Calder cites artists such as The Beatles, Tom Waits and Nick Drake as strong sources of inspiration. “The Beatles were probably my first exposure to music in my life, like I imagine they would have been for many people across generations.

“Tom Waits is another strong cornerstone for me. I love the way that his music is very character-based and he brings elements together that shouldn’t combine well, but he manages to do so brilliantly. I also love the way he is a truly unique individual in the musical landscape of the world. No one else is doing what he is.”

The Nick Drake influence? “The way he would structure and create his music in recorded form, along with his deceptively layered and complex guitar playing, still inspires me to this day.”

 Bleeders features some wonderful embellishments, particularly piano and cello. “Apart from instruments like cello, I wrote and recorded the album myself. It was always important to go where the music took me, and to try and not be too derivative of what has gone before with this style of music.”

The title track off the new album has a rather striking video to it, as Calder explains: “I remember acting in home made movies when I was a kid. I’ve always loved the visual side of music. I did the artwork on the album cover, and my brother is a director. Together, we came up with the concept for the ‘Bleeders’ video. If there’s ever a chance to explore the visual side of the music, I will always try to jump on it.”

Touring with Sparkadia and Canada’s Imaginary Cities a few months ago, Calder explains, has been one of his biggest career highlights so far. “The exposure career-wise has been tremendous. Also, it was a real challenge to dive in the deep end as I had never really played live before this tour. Getting to perform in such great venues like The Forum in Melbourne and The Tivoli in Brisbane was incredible and a truly unforgettable experience.”

So what does the future hold for the talented Caldwell? “I’m looking forward to doing more support slots in regards to touring, as I really want to work over the next year or so in regards to building a following for The Trouble With Templeton.”

If Bleeders is anything to go by, expect to hear more from this young man.

– Neil Evans

The Trouble With Templeton will be playing Peat’s Ridge Festival in NSW this month and Bleeders is out now through MGM.