Alfie Templeman – Hello Lonely

At just 21 years old, Carlton, UK-born singer-songwriter Alfie Templeman is consistently proving he may be one of the few outliers in this era of music. The soul and funk elements of his material call back to acts like Jamiroquai and Culture Club as he leans into the suave, more musically progressive sound of the genres but he would also be a dark horse candidate on a Funk Wave Bounces Vol. 3. He is both a throwback and a modern-day savant.

Ahead of his new album Radiosoul, out via Chess Club Records/AWAL on June 7th, Templeman has released “Hello Lonely,” the third single from the project.

On earlier work such as “Happiness In Liquid Form” and “Movies,” Templeman’s vocal expressiveness was on display via his tone, inflections, etc., but he was holding back range-wise. New releases “Eyes Wide Shut” and “Radiosoul,” also to be included on the upcoming project, showcase perhaps not the full breadth of his vocal flexibility, but substantially closer to the edge. He continues to experiment on this track, shooting for and nailing ambitious melodic cadences, most of them descending, that require note-for-note precision. Additionally, his vibrato, whether he is in his chest or head voice, is skillfully wavered, and quite applicable for the style.

Pandemic-related songs, at this stage in the game, are, to put it bluntly, tiresome. However, in this case, Templeman isn’t droning on about what the isolation did to him, but rather what it did to trigger his preexisting anxiety and often drained social meter. It’s a new take on a topic that has exhausted its capacity for takes.

“I’ve always had a bit of a dodgy social battery and sometimes struggle with social media and touring as it can require a lot of energy to get on stage 100 times a year and maintain conversations with so many different people,” he said in a statement. “When you have such a different work life compared to home life, silence becomes pretty deafening. ‘Hello Lonely’ is about coping with those big quiet moments and checking in on your own sanity.”

In a way, this tune could be seen as his shy boy nerd take on Lizzo’s “About Damn Time.” She, as per usual, was the immediate source of comfort: “It’s been a minute/ Tell me how you healin’/ Cause I’m about to get into my feelings/ How you feelin’?/ How you feel right now?” Templeman’s is far more inward. It’s the idea of wanting to be some sort of help to others without being able to help himself: “Pull up a chair and tell me how you’ve been feeling/ Sometimes distant lovers tend to get lost/ Look into my eyes… they want to find meaning/ Know that when I fall I want to land soft.”

Musically, the rhythm and the horns are a welcome distraction from Templeman’s lingering fears. Fears he isn’t projecting in a “you should feel this too!” kind of way, but a matter-of-fact “This is how it is for me” type vibe: “Nothing is forever but forever’s always whispering closely, ‘Hello Lonely.’” This upcoming record, seemingly a petri dish of Templeman’s coming-of-age stories, will surely be a project willing to be truthful if it means a clean, open canvas for him to create on.

Stream “Hello Lonely”: