Alfie Templeman poised to be the groovy breakout star 2020 needs

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Every once in a while, I stumble across a song from an artist I have no previous familiarity with that grabs my attention with a jolt. In 2020, the one artist who has managed to do that is 17-year-old UK indie pop wunderkind Alfie Templeman.

“Happiness in Liquid Form” appeared on one of my Discover Weekly playlists (thanks Spotify) and it instantly entered regular rotation for me. Its catchy melody and hook is perfect pop with serious funk. I don’t make this declaration often, but after hearing that song I was convinced that Templeman is going to be a massive star — sooner rather than later. Put Alfie Templeman on the Billie Eilish Trajectory.

Templeman drops his latest EP this Friday, Happiness in Liquid Form. A few songs have already dropped ahead of its release, and groovy is the common theme across all of them. “Things I Thought Were Mine” is another song meant for dancing along to and I can’t wait until the day we are able to do it in a big field at a festival — hopefully someday soon. He’s got the lyricism of Rex Orange County with more oomph behind him in terms of production.

He’s only been dropping music since 2018 but he’s already got quite a few big-time co-signs. Latest single “Obvious Guy” — with its hooky bass line — was written with former Kaiser Chiefs founding drummer Nick Hodgson (who has also collaborated with Mark Ronson on productions), and he’s also written with Justin Young of The Vaccines. That said, it’s Templeman himself playing all of the instruments, having learned drums at age seven as well as having taught himself guitar, bass, and production. The results are exquisite.

Happiness in Liquid Form drops July 17 via Chess Club Records — the label of one of my other favorite pop stars MØ, as well as early work from Wolf Alice.