Arts and Entertainment

Alfie Templeman Ignites the Imagination With “Forever Isn’t Long Enough”

Eighteen-year-old Alfie Templeman sets high expectations for his future projects with his refreshing and jam-packed mini-album “Forever Isn’t Long Enough.”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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By Annie Lam

If you’re ever going on a summer drive and looking to blast some music through the speakers of your red convertible, then Alfie Templeman’s new album “Forever Isn’t Long Enough” should be your first pick. An electronic wonder oozing with acoustic goodness, “Long Enough” seamlessly mixes pop, rock, and even some funk and jazz to create 30 minutes of auditory heaven. Retro synth sounds and satisfying basslines aplenty, this upbeat debut album promises more to come from the 18-year-old alternative pop artist Templeman.

Surrounded by music his whole life, Alfie Templeman released his debut EP, “Like An Animal” (2018) when he was 15. The EP’s enchanting, guitar-based indie pop sound garnered attention from the likes of Universal Music Publishing Group, who signed him in 2019. Templeman was 15 when he got his upstart and experimented appropriately, channeling Dr. Dre as an influence one second and Nirvana the next. But as a whole, his sound is tagged by its colorful charm and rock-inspired tones.

On “Forever Isn’t Long Enough,” however, Alfie Templeman explores new musical horizons with a more polished sound than his usual organic vibe. The snappy drums and bass-centric grooves of the album are accompanied by glimmering, retro synthesizers to create a beautiful atmosphere that is compounded by punchy rhythms.

The title track perfectly introduces the atmospheric yet catchy sound of the album. Retro synthesizers, a crunchy bassline, great percussion, and even a choir at one point dance together in an anthemic song about the joy of life and love. The song also introduces his fear of being alone, which becomes increasingly apparent as the choir sings “It’s over now” with increasing urgency in repeat until the song concludes ominously like a cord being pulled.

Templeman depends on a lover and the happiness that their forever brings in this bright yet bittersweet song. Aside from being sonically pleasing, this song also perfectly introduces the mildly toxic and potentially fictional young love that the album revolves around.

In the same vein as the title track is the funk-inspired “Hideaway,” the album’s mischievous opener “Shady,” and the dark yet equally energetic “To You.” Alfie Templeman appears surprisingly confident in this new musical style as he plays with genres seamlessly throughout the album, delivering some top-notch instrumental solos along the way.

The slickest and quickest of these upbeat tracks is “Wait, I Lied,” the album’s catchiest song. This disco-inspired track sticks to a bass guitar hook and a simple dance floor beat, expanding its sound in the lovesick pre-choruses and post-choruses. Heartbroken yet lyrically cheekier than ever, “Wait, I Lied” shows off Templeman’s charm and willingness to experiment with his typically more homemade style.

Not every song on the album pulls off this pop style, however. While “Hideaway” and “Shady” are good songs overall, the verses feel empty and overpowered by the bass and distracting percussion, ameliorated only by the synth-heavy chorus. This minimalistic style, while satisfyingly smooth in “Wait, I Lied,” feels loud and confused in the verses of “Hideaway” and “Shady.”

This isn’t a problem in the latter half of the album where the romantic atmospheres of “Forever Isn’t Long Enough” take over with songs like “Film Scene Daydream.” Shy synth keys evolve into shimmering stars as a punchy beat intensifies the track. A melodic pluck plays like a fast heartbeat as Templeman sings about a past love and the naivety of his youth. Templeman sings, “She said I'm crazy, baby / She's just a daydream, film scene,” as he realizes that the love of his youth might not have been as perfect as he once thought. On the fence between staying heartbroken and moving on, “Film Scene Daydream” lends itself perfectly to the urgent “To You” and then finally to the album’s closer, “One More Day.”

Here, in the album’s final moments, its dark side comes into full view. “One More Day” enchants with dark synth swells, a slow, lo-fi beat, and a vinyl crackle as Templeman harmonizes with female Irish singer April, whose voice brings this track to life. A necessary departure from the album’s otherwise cheerful sound, “One More Day” fully reveals the dark underbelly of heartbreak and toxicity in this album during its mysterious final moments.

“Forever Isn’t Long Enough” sparks the imagination with glittering synth sounds before crashing back to earth with bass-centric grooves. Exploding with the enthusiasm and vibrancy of youth, listening to this mini-album in one go is like taking a shot of inspiration that ends with a lasting sense of contentment. Needless to say, Alfie Templeman’s cohesive, self-assured sound on his most recent project has proven that he is an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with.