If Alfie Templeman’s 2022 full-length debut Mellow Moon was a record that—from the confines of lockdown—dreamed of freedom and losing yourself with your friends, then his second record is a joyous address from the wild. The Bedfordshire singer-songwriter spent an extended stretch on the road before hunkering down to work on Radiosoul—and from the sound of the album, he had the time of his life. It’s an ecstatic, groove-laden indie-pop record full of uplifting, radiant hooks and a disco swagger (a guest appearance from Nile Rodgers no doubt helped with that). “I feel like this is the most me-sounding record I’ve made,” Templeman tells Apple Music. “It was recorded in summer, and it’s got that spontaneous energy that comes from being in the sun.” Shielding during lockdown, Templeman was stuck in his room while writing Mellow Moon with nowhere but his own mind to explore. Here, however, he had a wealth of joyous experiences to draw upon. “I had so much to sing about this time,” he says. “This album was essentially about making up for lost time and shoving a lot of experiences into a small amount of time.” Radiosoul is an album that documents the first steps into adulthood for Templeman, who turned 21 a few months before its release. “It’s about moving out from my parents’ house, going to London, and trying to figure out how to fit in,” he explains, reflecting on leaving his teenage self behind. “It was about ‘How do I start from the beginning? Where do I go next?’” The answer, it seems, was to a place where exuberant pop bangers are the order of the day. Here, Templeman talks us through Radiosoul, track by track. “Radiosoul” “This was one of the earliest ones, it began to take shape in the summer of ’22. It’s all about me wrapping my head around that growing, profound impact of social media, the idea that people are so obsessed with being on their phones all the time, and no one’s hanging out with each other anymore. It doesn’t help that we’re in a cost-of-living crisis and everything’s too expensive, you can’t go out with anyone because it’s so expensive, so the norm now is social media and [to] sit on your phone all day. I wanted to write a song about observing the fact that this is just growing and getting bigger and bigger.” “Eyes Wide Shut” “This was also one of the early songs and it was about feeling overwhelmed by the world. As I’ve got older, I’ve become quite a bit more sensitive, and I guess that comes with being an artist from a young age. Basically, in ’22, when I was on tour, this therapist I was talking to at the time was saying, ‘You should write down whatever you think of in the morning, the first 10 minutes of the day, just write down your thoughts.’ So I started collecting them and then I continued it after the tour. The juxtaposition between the two was really interesting so I cut up the words later on and put together ‘Eyes Wide Shut.’ It felt like a really good way to write, it kicked off that idea of making quite a personal record.” “This is Just the Beginning” “When you’ve had two very intense subjects in songs on the album, it’s quite nice to break it up with something a bit more sweet and innocent. I wrote this one when I was about 14. The melody was so addictive to me, and it used to run around in my head for years and years. If that naturally happens and comes to you and it’s still kicking about in your head seven or eight years later, then it’s probably worth having a look at again. For me, it sounds like being 14 again. It had been in the back of my mind for so long, and I wanted to make something really cute and happy-go-lucky for the record and that’s how this song fit in.” “Vultures” “I’m really proud of ‘Vultures.’ It’s the only song that I produced on the record by myself. It’s an insight into how I see a lot of famous artists explode overnight, and it’s quite scary, so intense, and how does anyone know what to do with that? Especially with TikTok and social media, a lot of people will just blow up overnight, and then it’s like, ‘How do I have a career out of this?’ If they see something that’s making a quick buck, then the vultures of the industry will eat that up very quickly. It’s about how people get fucked over by people in the industry, because they have a big hit by accident or something, and then next minute they’re being controlled and puppeted.” “Drag” “‘Drag’ is about co-dependency in relationships, but also friendships. It’s about the idea of burdening other people without really knowing that you’re doing it, relying on other people to help you and make you feel better. It’s a bit of a dilemma, because you need these people and you need their affection and love to make you feel better, but, at the same time, you’re dragging them down. It’s quite a sad song but also maybe the happiest-sounding of all of the tracks. I’ve always tended to go for that, where musically, it’s really happy but lyrically, it’s quite sad.” “Hello Lonely” “This captures the existential thoughts that everyone had during the pandemic and how coming out of it, no one really knew what to do. ‘What now? Where do I go?’ It was like essentially checking in on yourself after two years. I haven’t released too much music in the last couple of years, so on the forefront it looks like I disappeared, but actually I’ve had a very hectic couple of years, so I wanted to answer people’s questions. It was about checking in with myself, but also with my followers and my fans and my friends and saying, ‘OK, this is what I’ve got up to the last couple years.’ It sounds like a chat with a therapist almost. It’s very direct—a very melodic, very sugary pop song, yet it still sounds like you’re just talking to someone.” “Just a Dance” “Nobody has rhythm like Nile Rodgers so having Nile Rodgers on a song of yours is pretty crazy. I was lucky enough to develop a relationship with Nile over the last couple of years and I went to Miami to record with him. We had two or three days together and he made me feel so comfortable. He’s such a humble, lovely person. I’d get in at 10 in the morning and leave at 10 at night, we’d have massive sessions, but he’d tell me so many stories and make me feel so comfortable. He taught me so much about being spontaneous and not overthinking things too much. This song plays into what Nile Rodgers is so good at and that’s making catchy, simple, good choruses.” “Submarine” “‘Submarine’ is a song about coming back from tour. It was like a fever dream I had on tour. I was ill, and I was just thinking about coming back home, and I was really tired. I wanted to see my girlfriend. I was thinking about her a lot. She’s really into marine biology so I wrote a song about coming home in a submarine to go and see her. It’s the idea of being back at home and being in your natural element and being happy, having a really simple life with your girlfriend. At the time, my life was really hectic and I was touring a lot, living out of a suitcase for months and months, and I was fed up of that. I just wanted to go home and cuddle up to her.” “Beckham” “I did this with Dan Carey [Wet Leg and Fontaines D.C. producer], who’s one of my dream producers to work with. It was a very spontaneous song, it just came out of nowhere. I’m still trying to figure out what the lyrics exactly are about because they just fell out of me. I wanted to make something that sounded really absurd and really strange and just out of this world. The chorus says, ‘Sutton, Bexley, Tooting, Earlsfield, Streatham, Peckham, David Beckham,’ which is weird, but it was actually a list of places that I was looking to move to in London and it accidentally became the chorus because David Beckham rhymes with Peckham. I was like, ‘Why not?!’ which is quite funny.” “Switch” “One time, I had this amazing cold shower that completely revitalized me. Cold showers really help me to just calm down and face whatever comes my way, so I wanted to write a song paying homage to taking cold showers. The verse lyrics go into the details of giving into commercial pressure and sacrificing your art, which is something that I really wanted to reverse with this album and do my own thing. I wanted to talk about the idea of trying to stay true to yourself, like having a cold shower and flicking that switch in your brain, just being you, being on it, and being true to yourself, sticking up for yourself.” “Run to Tomorrow” “‘Run to Tomorrow’ is definitely the song that I’m the most nervous about releasing, because it’s very direct. It’s a very personal song. The lyrics are a set of words that I wrote down to help myself [to calm] down when having a panic attack, so it goes into detail about that and ways of me calming myself down to be OK—a step-by-step guide to calming yourself. When I have wobbles, I have little instructions and reminders that I tell myself, to help me out, like ‘no feeling is final,’ that kind of thing, ‘keep moving on.’ ‘Run To Tomorrow’ is about trying not to work yourself up too much, because once I get in the headspace of doing that, I go a bit crazy. But there’s a real vulnerability in the vocal takes because at the time of recording it, I was in a pretty rough place. I only did a couple [of] takes so it’s quite a vulnerable song, but I think it’s a really special song.”

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