Review: Alfie Templeman – Happiness in Liquid Form; ‘Indie-pop’s Boy Wonder’

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Indie-pop heaven

Alfie Templeman has proven once again why he is the most exciting thing in the indie scene right now

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Alfie Templeman has justifiably been given the title ‘indie-pop’s boy wonder’ and on his latest release, the Happiness in Liquid Form EP, the 17-year-old shows off his ability to create majorly infectious songs from his bedroom. This six-track EP is easily his best work so far in his promising career. It’s full of impressive songwriting and production for a lad of his age. If you are in search of a new summer banger you will find plenty on this bright and exciting new project from this young musical prodigy.

The lead single from the EP and the title of the EP itself, ‘Happiness in Liquid Form’ sees Templeman venture into a funkier sound rather than his typical indie approach to his music. This disco-infused track takes inspiration heavily from the 70s and 80s but still sounds so good to the modern ear through its contemporary delivery. The bouncy beats and catchiness of the chorus makes this the perfect summer anthem and is a sound that Templeman should definitely delve into more on future projects.

‘Things I Thought Were Mine’ is one of the most interesting songs on this new EP, and is built up around a wonky synth that is intriguing to listen to. The smooth bass featured on this track, particularly during the verses, helps to create a more laid back vibe but is still able to carry the song forwards. When talking about this song with NME Templeman opened up about the song’s production: “I actually mixed and produced this one myself – my first since ‘Orange Juice’ – and I’m really pleased with how it came out: there’s no reverb, it’s very dry-sounding”. The song’s lyrics may not have the deepest of meanings but it is still a pleasant track with the message if you want to progress forwards you will end up losing things as well.

For such a young talent, Templeman has an ability to write lyrics that are both deeply personal to him, but also lyrics that are completely separate from his life. ‘Wish I Was Younger’ is an example of Templeman’s detachment, as it’s a song from the perspective of a married man wishing that he was younger when he met his wife so he could have spent more of his life with her. Although it is quite a simple love song, the track has an incredibly happy vibe that draws from 90s RnB music in its danceability. The programmed drum patterns play a huge part in this song’s appeal, helping to make the chorus feel full and snappy which stops the song from losing its momentum.

The final track on the EP, ‘My Best Friend’, features a collaboration with a member of the group Coach Party, Jess Eastwood. Despite the positive title, the song is actually about feelings of depression that are always lurking in your mind whenever you do anything. “My best friend is a killer in disguise” is such a haunting lyric, emphasizing the intrusiveness of depression and how it takes over your life. Moody bass is the main component of this song and it helps to keep a darker atmosphere, as often seen in Billie Eilish’s work, but also creates a grooving edge that is pleasing on the ears.

Happiness in Liquid Form is a very impressive effort from Templeman. It is an excellent showcase of both his talent as a singer and a songwriter, as well as his overall potential as an artist. Templeman has successfully experimented with a different side of music that we haven’t seen from him before. Dabbling with synths and more bass, this collection of songs has led Templeman to create an EP full of summer-ready indie-pop bangers.  I am very excited about any future releases from this indie sensation and, hopefully, there will be an album in the works soon.

Happiness in Liquid Form is available to listen to now via AWAL Recordings. Check out ‘Obvious Guy’ down below.

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A Second Year English student with a love for all things music

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