UK indie pop superstar, Alfie Templeman, has returned with a brand new mini-album of alt pop perfection in Forever Isn’t Long Enough. Comprised of eight songs and running just over 30 mins, Forever Isn’t Long Enough is the body of work that Templeman’s fans have been waiting for.
The album opens with a bang in ‘Shady’. A feel-good, beat heavy track, ‘Shady’ will have you dancing around in your chair or nodding along in the car. The song’s soundscape effortlessly moves between percussive, slightly haunting sounds and rock-flavoured guitar riffs. The beat skips along beside the backing sound, allowing Templeman’s boy-next-door vocals to shine through.
It’s a trend that’s carried into ‘Forever Isn’t Long Enough’, ‘Hideaway’ and ‘Wait, I Lied’. For these songs, Templeman keeps the modern retro beats coming as he sings of his place in the world, being calm in the midst of panic attacks and a failed relationship respectively.
‘Forever Isn’t Love Enough’ takes the percussive beats of ‘Shady’ and spins them in an almost futuristic way. It’s as if Tron found his calling as a music producer. At the same time, ‘Hideaway’ is an excellent addition to the album. While the track is filled with the boppy beats that one expects from Templeman, his vocals (and the backing vocals) separate the song from the rest of the tracklist. Like smoke, they waft above the track’s soundscape and paint a picture in the listener’s mind of Templeman in a dark room. The curtains are drawn and Templeman lies on a bed, pouring his heart out to the shadows on the ceiling. ‘This nightmare’s getting worse … / won’t you stay so we can hide away? / won’t you stay so we can be okay?’ Templeman sings, the backing vocals adding a sprinkle of gospel to the already groovy track.
‘Wait, I Lied’ is without a doubt a standout moment on the tracklist. The song’s soundscape is made up of effortlessly cool basslines, well-placed percussion and the right amount of snap to keep you engaged from its very first note. Templeman opens the song in a slightly higher register before slipping into his normal register to move with the beats. Of all the songs on the album, ‘Wait, I Lied’ deviates the most from Templeman’s alt pop sound. While it’s not a complete change, Templeman experiments with the realm of disco by blending it with his own sound. And we’re happy to say that he does it well.
“I wanted to make a refined and focused pop record – something more widescreen than an EP but more concise than a full-length album -with a feel somewhere between Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Tame Impala’s Currents. In making Forever Isn’t Long Enough I realised that I needed to slow down a little and work on things carefully,” Templeman explains of the process he undertook to create Forever Isn’t Long Enough.
Templeman’s previously released single, ‘Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody’, sits in the middle of the album. It’s the perfect hump for listeners to go over, a sort of reminder of how far Templeman has come in his journey. It also serves as a divider between Forever Isn’t Long Enough’s party ready tracks and the ones that show a quieter side of Templeman.
‘Film Scene Daydream’ is the most instrumental song on the album. Described as a song made up of a “massive platter of guitars”, the song’s beat is kept going using a saxophone and a hollow sound that encapsulates the entire toe-tapping soundscape. As a cherry on top, the inclusion of a soft, cascading wind chime just at the start of the bridge elevates the track to new heights. ‘She said I’m crazy, baby (turn your head) / she’s just a daydream film scene,’ Templeman sings, his voice taking on a cottony quality that blends perfectly with the track.
The album’s final two songs, ‘To You’ and ‘One More Day’ (featuring Ireland’s newest singer-songwriter April), are the album’s calmest tracks. Rather than making you get up and dance, both songs instead create a mood that would close out the night. ‘To You’ is the more beat heavy of the two songs. Inspired by Tame Impala and The Weeknd, Templeman described ‘To You’ as a “simple love song … [that also talks] about nostalgia, how times have changed for me and how I deal with love in different ways.” The track manipulates its instruments using synthesizers to create an echoing, video game-esque soundscape. Meanwhile, ‘One More Day’ is the perfect closer to the album. Sonically, its lofi beat, hollow sound and low scratch in the background give the track a record player feel. Templeman and April’s vocals soar through this soundscape, both coated in a smoky, haunting tone that drives home the song’s record player aesthetic.
“The [album’s] songs took anywhere from one day to 4 months to 2 years to finish for this record, but I made sure each one was perfect and I’ve never been more proud of how they all came out,” said Templeman.
All in all, Forever Isn’t Long Enough is a strong body of work from an exceptionally talented artist. Knowing that Templeman was heavily involved in the creation of all the album’s songs (from performing and writing to producing most tracks), it’s easy to understand why Templeman has achieved the success he has. This is a young man who cares deeply for his craft, and just like the heights this album will take you to when you listen to it, the only way for Templeman to go is up.