Alfie Templeman has announced details of his debut album ‘Mellow Moon’ and shared lead single ‘Broken’. Check it out below, alongside an interview with Templeman.
Following on from 2021’s mini-album ‘Forever Isn’t Long Enough’ which blended rowdy festival anthems with funk and disco, debut album proper ‘Mellow Moon’ is a mix of “R&B, pop, folk and rock”, according to the 19-year-old, along with “crazy guitar solos but also little bits of jazz”
“Everything I’ve been working towards for the past few years has led to this record but I think it’s great,” he told NME. “It’s basically everything that I’ve ever done, taken to a higher level.”
Speaking of his new single ‘Broken’, Templeman described it as “a good representation of what’s gone on in the past couple of years and how people my age are feeling”.
“It explores the smaller thoughts and fears that nobody really brings up because there are bigger things going on in the world right now but really, your mental wellbeing is just as valid as anything else,” said Templeman. “You’re alive, you deserve to know that everything’s OK.”
He continued: “I’ve spoken about mental health to friends and on social media, but I’ve never been this open about it in my music. Because of that, I didn’t want to go too emo straight away. I didn’t want to go full Elliot Smith. It’s an upbeat pop song but the lyrics are very sad.”
Templeman revealed that the riff was first written back when he was 14, with the rest of the track taking influence from Chic disco legend Nile Rodgers.
“I’ve spoken countless times about how much of a hero of mine he is,” said Templeman. “I’ve always liked bittersweet songs though. Radiohead were another big influence on me because with songs like ‘No Surprises’ – you can’t tell if that’s a dark song or a happy song. I want to make beautiful summer pop records, but I also want to keep being honest about myself with my lyrics, so ‘Broken’ is a good starting point for that.”
Check out the rest of our chat with Templeman below, where he opened up about inspiring teenagers to make music, mental health and why there’s positivity behind everything he creates.
Hi Alfie. What made you want to write about your mental health on ‘Broken’?
Templeman: “I was in a pretty dark place when I was writing the lyrics for the album. ‘Broken’ came about because throughout the pandemic, I’d go into my own head, visit that dark corner and push everyone else away. I realised I needed to figure things out and address what was happening because the only person that can really change you, is you. I just became more honest and open with myself. Justin Young from The Vaccines really helped me piece this track together though. He helped me find ways to describe what was going on in my head without it sounding too morbid.”
How did that feel?
“The deeper you go, the more painful it is, but you also discover more about yourself. It’s just part of growing up but I became less interested in what other people thought about me and cared more about how I felt about myself. ‘Broken’ shaped the whole of ‘Mellow Moon’ though because after I wrote it, I was more comfortable putting other songs on the record that were deeper, darker and more honest about how I felt.”
Why the title ‘Mellow Moon’?
“Sometimes I feel like I’m on a completely different planet, so the ‘Mellow Moon’ is my safe space. It’s a place where I go to relax, to get away from whatever anxieties are going on in my head. I feel like it’s finally time to invite people into that. Hopefully they find it safe and comforting, the same way that I do.”
Is there a thread that runs through this album?
“There’s a loose concept of going through different stages of mental health but there are also songs where I let loose and just enjoy myself. Those songs still have meaning though, they just provide a break from the intensity of the rest of the record. Nobody wants an album where every song is going to make you have an existential crisis.This album is very much dedicated to people my age, who have all been through the same shit.”
And it’s all brand new songs, right?
“I just don’t want to look back. There was talk of adding some old songs to ‘Forever Isn’t Long Enough’ and making that my debut but I knew, with a little more time, I could write a really great record. And here we are with ‘Mellow Moon’. I think it’s a really strong, bold, confident album that shows off who Alfie Templeman is now.”
Have you got your eyes set on a Number One album?
“It’d be nice to get a Top 40 but I’m not too bothered. A Number One is a bit like meeting the Queen, it’s just something to brag about. That said, wait until May where I’m trying to sell my left kidney to flog a few more copies of the record. I’d be happy with people relating to what I’m talking about on the record.”
Before that though, you’ve got a big UK tour with a headline show at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire…
“What’s going on? I’m gonna have such a crazy existential moment when I’m on that stage, looking at all those people that have come out to see me. It’s going to be really surreal. When we did Brixton Academy with Declan McKenna it was very cool but very scary. I’m just excited for this tour though. We’ve got a lot of things up our sleeves and we’re just gonna have fun with it. If people are expecting serious, theatrical music, I wouldn’t bother coming.”
What do you hope people take from your success?
“I hope it inspires other kids my age to go off and make their own music. When I was younger, I’d listen to people like Rex Orange County and Mac DeMarco and that really inspired me, because they were young and did it themselves. They made me feel like I could give it a go. And yes, I sucked for a while but I kept trying. I’m from a small place in the middle of nowhere and I’ve made a career out of bringing the ideas that float around in my brain to life. It really can happen to anyone. I hope people see that.”
‘Mellow Moon’ is out May 27 via Chess Club Records. Pre-order it here and check out the tracklisting below.
1. ‘A Western’
2. ‘You’re A Liar’
4. ‘Folding Mountains’
5. ‘3D Feelings’
7. ‘Best Feeling’
8. ‘Do It’
9. ‘Colour Me Blue’
11. ‘Leaving Today’
12. ‘Take Some Time Away’
13. ‘Mellow Moon’
14. ‘Just Below The Above’
Templeman kicks off his UK tour in March, with support in the UK from labelmate Pixy. Check out his full tour dates below.
2 – The Cluny, Newcastle
3 – Saint Luke’s, Glasgow
4 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
5 – Gorilla, Manchester
8 – Leadmill, Sheffield
9 – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
10 – O2 Institute, Birmingham
11 – Thekla, Bristol
12 – Patterns, Brighton
16 – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
18 – The Academy, Dublin
24 – Le Pop Up!, Paris
25 – YUCA, Cologne
26 – Paradiso, Amsterdam
28 – Ancienne Belgique, Brussels
29 – Molotow, Hamburg
30 – Kantine am Berghain, Berlin
31 – Kranhalle, Munich
For help and advice on mental health:
- Help Musicians UK – Around the clock mental health support and advice for musicians (CALL MUSIC MINDS MATTER ON: 0808 802 8008)
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably
- Music Support Org – Help and support for musicians struggling with alcoholism, addiction, or mental health issues (CALL: 0800 030 6789)
- YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
- Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination
- The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day