Alfie Templeman

Headlining our Friday night Good Karma Club Takeover, Alfie Templeman has been hotly tipped by just about everyone with a history of backing the next big thing!

Alfie Templeman

Alfie Templeman knows music. At just 17, this boy wunderkind already has four EPs to his name, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of music history that some veteran artists would envy. He’s been called a “bedroom producer”, and that’s true – all of his songs were crafted at home in the small village of Carlton, Bedfordshire. “It’s kind of boring,” Templeman says cheerfully. “I live in a nice place and everyone’s friendly and supportive, so I’m lucky. But there’s not a lot to do, so that’s one of the reasons I got into songwriting.” But where many young artists create tracks from pre-made samples, Templeman is more likely to pick up one of the 10 instruments he taught himself.

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It started with his father. A builder by trade but a passionate guitarist by nature, Templeman’s dad would fill the house with the sounds of classic rock, while his son banged away to the rhythm on pots and pans. Then one day, his dad brought him along to do some work at a friend’s house. That friend wasn’t sure how to entertain a child, so he put a video of a live Rush concert on the TV. “I was blown away,” Templeman recalls. “I can vividly remember watching Neil Peart play. He became my first musical hero.” He began saving his pocket money to buy “all of the Rush albums”, then set out converting a mate so they could form a band together. Aged eight, using his sister’s toy microphone and an old laptop, Templeman recorded his first demo.

At school, he always felt like the odd one out. “All the boys were playing football, and I hated that,” he says. “I felt like the weird kid because I didn’t want to do sports.” He began going to cello lessons, which he credits for his perfect pitch. Then he fell in love with the drums around the same time he was teaching himself to play one of his dad’s left-handed guitars (right-handed). After that it was the keyboard, mandolin, “a bit of violin”, bass, sitar, harmonica, synths… “One of the reasons I learnt all that was so I could play and produce everything myself,” he explains. “I had to have full control over my first EP. I just wanted to see if I could put everything together so it sounded good.”

It definitely worked. Like An Animal, released by Chess Club Records in 2018, is an astonishing, self-produced collection redolent of Kevin Parker and Mac De Marco. There are hazy, sun-drenched twangs of guitar; swooning, Eighties-style synths; moody, wandering basslines and warm percussion. Unlike many other artists, who might try to compensate for their youth by tackling the “big” subjects, Templeman makes no attempt to hide his age. These songs are about feeling like an outsider, exam stress, and those all-consuming first crushes.

Like An Animal was followed by two EPs in 2019, Sunday Morning Cereal and Don’t Go Wasting Time. The former was infused with heavy funk influences, from the squelchy bass and vocal fuzz of “Stop Thinking (About Me)” to the dreamy psychedelia of “Busy”. The seven-track Don’t Go Wasting Time was an ambitious leap that shone a brighter spotlight on Templeman’s extraordinary range, encompassing pop, indie, rock, Latin and prog influences. It’s all the more impressive upon learning that, around this time, Templeman ended up in hospital, where he was diagnosed with childhood lung disease.

“It doesn’t really bother me, but I’m one of those ‘vulnerable to Covid-19’ people, so I’ve been shielding since March,” he reveals. “It’s been a long summer!” Until the diagnosis, Templeman and his family thought he had bad asthma. You wouldn’t think he had any sort of condition to hear him – or, indeed, see him onstage. “It can get messy,” he laughs. His gigs, including a sold-out London show at COLOURS in Hoxton, are raucous affairs, filled by screaming fans only too happy to catch him whenever he hurls himself offstage. After a string of UK performances last year, including his triumphant Radio 1 Introducing Set at Reading and Leeds festival, he’s eager to get back to it.

And why wouldn’t he be? 2020 has already seen the release of his best EP to date, the irrepressible Happiness in Liquid Form, which has achieved millions of streams – not to mention praise from the likes of The Guardian and NME. Templeman refers to the title track as “colourful sugary disco pop”, but there’s plenty more to love besides that. Writing with Justin Young of The Vaccines fame has instilled a new confidence in Templeman’s songwriting. You can hear it in the cheeky bounce of “My Best Friend” – which will remind listeners of Billie Eilish’s insouciant charm – and the infectious Caribbean sound on “Things I Thought Were Mine”.  

“I listen to everything!” Templeman says, explaining how he came to have such a broad range of references. This is a teenager who will just as happily discuss John McLaughlin and Miles Davis as he would The Weeknd and Harry Styles. “I think some people might consider me as ‘just’ an indie artist, but my music is a broad mix,” he continues. “There are modern influences, but also a lot of prog, classic jazz, funk… I like to play things that people don’t expect, that hit you right in the feels.”

He praises his label, Chess Club Records, for helping him to “come out of my shell a bit” and be the charming, exuberant and driven young man he is today. “I’ve definitely become more open,” he nods. “I didn’t always know how to talk to people before, and I could get pretty anxious. I’d get scared, but everyone’s really nice!” He’s eager to become one of the voices of a generation determined to change the world: “Everyone at my school was so intelligent and well-informed. Young people have more of a voice now than ever.”

Templeman now has his eye on 2021, with a brand-new collection of songs on the way – the superb Forever Isn’t Long Enough – that he describes as “the best representation of what I’m about”. “Each song is different but linked,” he says. The mini-album opens on the thrilling rhythms of “Shady” – produced by Tom McFarland from the Mercury Prize-shortlisted collective Jungle. From there, you’ll be hooked, whether to the strut of “Wait, I Lied” (with nods to Gnarls Barkley and Justin Timberlake), or the gleaming “To You”, which recalls the sound of The Weeknd’s chart-dominating 2019 album, After Hours.

“My mum kept wanting to hear what I was working on, but I can’t show anyone until a song’s finished,” Templeman laughs, thinking of the reaction his fans will have when they hear this new material. He wants to do as many shows as possible when he gets back on the road, performing to a fanbase that now stretches around the world. “I want those new experiences,” he says. “2021 is going to be massive.”

Joesef

Joesef

From the East End of Glasgow, “the prince of bedroom pop”, Joesef, is modernising soul music through jazz inspired lo-fi pop instrumentals, all from his bedroom. Crafting personal, love-lorn songs of heartbreak that evoke a sense of nostalgia, Joesef has been creating a soundtrack to moments of intimacy. 

Calling himself “an emotional sad boy”, the frankness of Joesef’s lyrics are unflinchingly self-aware and are an honest insight into his life experiences & relationships.

Find Joesef on Instagram

Just Announced: Alfie Templeman To Headline Friday Night

We’re thrilled to be bringing the ferociously talented up-start Alfie Templeman to Beyond The Woods to top the bill of what’s set to be an incredible party to kick off 2021’s festival.

Alfie Templeman

We’ve teamed up with tastemaker and new music champion Abbie McCarthy to bring her Good Karma Club to our main stage on the Friday night. Abbie’s chosen some of her favourite acts to play and we can’t wait, you can check out her lineup below.

And there’s plenty more where that came from, watch this space!

Master Peace

Master Peace is a 19 year old South Londoner who has managed to captivate the ears of this generation with his own hybrid indie street sound. His combination of infectious hooks and a live show that will blow your mind has quickly solidified himself on the cool kid circuit of London as the new head turner. A fan of artists such as Phill Collins, Tracey Chapman & The 1975 developed the nucleus of his own sound
into one thing – Good Music.

With “PDA” and “Buck Me” being crowd favourites he has the correct
balance of good energy and great songs leaving you believing that the future of millennial music is in very safe hands.

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Luz

Luz

By her own admission, the last twelve months have been full of standout moments for the 19-year-old Irish, half Argentinian musician. Luz’s first two singles released earlier this year, have been streamed collectively more than 9 million times across DSPs; she’s received praise and support from almost all of her favourite musicians inc. Ed Sheeran, Sigrid, Julia Michaels, Lewis Capaldi, Dermot Kennedy and Niall Horan and she’s only just turned nineteen. 

During isolation Luz covered Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now on TikTok. Her piano version of this cover has now amassed over 7,500,000 views and led to Dua Lipa reacting to the cover as part of a HouseParty takeover in May, declaring “I love this so much”.

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Baby Queen

Baby Queen

23-year-old South Africa-born, London-based artist Baby Queen (real name Bella Latham) arrived in the pop sphere barely a year ago but she has already carved her name deep into its fabric as the genre’s new anti-hero.

Since her first release last summer ‘Internet Religion’, a takedown of how social media warps her generation, she has dropped a steady slew of singles that placed her at the forefront of a musical movement. Tipped by everyone from NME and Radio 1 to Courtney Love and Pale Waves, Baby Queen is ready to reign supreme.

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Bull – On Sale Now

We’re really keen to do what we can to showcase great music all year round.

Having recently signed with EMI records and their debut album on the way, York based indie band play The Scene in Lincoln on 22nd October.

Tickets are on sale now (18+)

They’re finding really Interesting ways to do these pop songs that I love”Declan McKenna

“Alt-rock fans will love the mellow tones of Americana grunge mixed with nineties pop.” – Gigwise

“The four-piece are working towards ‘big things’ with their easy-breezy take on lo-fi retro pop.” – Dork

“That’s really good, I really like that” – Elton John

York’s alt rock songsmiths, Bull have today announced their debut album ‘Discover Effortless Living’ which will be released on the 26th March by EMI Records, in conjunction with Young Thugs.

To celebrate, the band have today released ‘Eugene’, a mini-symphony of self-flagellation which trips through the various stages of feeling down on yourself (lethargy, frustration, anger etc) using tempo changes to paint an audio picture. It manages to be both melancholy and spritely at the same time, another example of the band’s idiosyncratic song writing.   

“I wrote the song Eugene when I was feeling dissatisfied with what I was doing” Tom (guitar/vocals) explains. “It’s kind of a self-hate song, you know when people talk about self-love? It’s not that. I’m slating myself; it moves through the key changes and different moods, and ends in a way that mocks the sadness, another form of self-deprecation!”

The video for the track is again a collaboration with artist friends of the band that reflects the different moods of the song. Dan and Kai from the band kick things off with some DIY Claymation before handing over to artists Jack Iredale, Rory Welbrock, Roxy Linklater and Holly Beer who each tackled a different animation style.

The band’s debut album, ‘Discover Effortless Living’ is a cornucopia of alt rocks sounds, the band having refined their song writing style into 13 indie bangers. The album includes previous singles such as ‘Disco Living’ (actually an abbreviation of the album title) ‘Green’, ‘Bonzo Please’ and ‘Love Goo’.

“Its songs written and rocked on between the years 2012 and 2020” Tom elaborates. “The title is taken from the opening lyric to the final track ‘Disco Living’. We wanted to use a lyric from the album and felt like this was a good one. I first saw the words in London written on the side of a mansion being built and thought it was funny, it also ties in with ideas around class, new beginnings, a golden era of prosperity, and hoping to have life ‘in the bag’.”

At radio the band are already being championed by the likes of Chris Hawkins and Steve Lamacq at 6Music, Huw Stephens at BBC Introducing Clara Amfo, as well as being acclaimed by fellow musicians like Elton John on his Beats 1 show and Declan McKenna.

Formed in 2011 by vocalist and songwriter Tom Beer and guitarist Dan Lucas, Bull’s mission is simply to make the music they wanted to listen to, inspired by their 90’s heroes such Pavement, Yo La Tengo and the Pixies. The rest of the band came together through a mix of friendships and happenstance. Drummer Tom Gabbatiss joined after he and Tom jammed together in bars while they were back-packing round Thailand, and Kai West had previously used to jump up on stage with the band and “Bez” (verb meaning to dance badly while intoxicated) before they eventually let him play bass.

They’ve played support shows for the likes of Squid, The Orielles, Pip Blom and even one of their long-time heroes in the form of Spiral Stairs (AKA Scott Kannberg of Pavement), and their constant gigging has seen them build up a dedicated local following. Not to be restricted to God’s own county, the band have plied their wares in mainland Europe, playing a series of unforgettable shows in Germany and the Netherlands. The band will be back on the road in 2021 with a full UK tour starting in September, tickets go on sale March 12th 2021.

Jaz Beeson’s Sunflower Pop Playlist

We recently interviewed Lincolnshire musician Jaz Beeson about her new single ‘Wanna Know’ (head to our Instagram if you haven’t seen it yet). When we asked her to describe her sound she said it was Sunflower Pop. But what exactly is that?

Jaz Beeson

Well we asked her to put together a playlist to add a bit of context and we’re soo glad she agreed, there are some top tunes on there to make you smile!

On her sound, Jaz said it was: “tunes for golden hour road trips and twirling through daisy-dappled fields.” Sounds good to us!

Beyond The Woods Meets: Jaz Beeson

In the latest in our series of interviews with some fantastic local artists we caught up with self declared ‘Sunflower Pop’ artist Jaz Beeson. As an artist she’s taken some time away working on a new sound alongside local producer Joey Walker and this latest offering ‘Wanna Know’ sees her music rise to a new level!

Jaz is also BBC Introducing in Lincolnshire’s track of the week, affirming the fact that our friends Hannah Fletcher and co. have great taste! Check out the track below and head over to our Instagram page to see the full interview.

Beyond The Woods Meets: The Rills

The Rills - credit Barnaby Fairly
The Rills – 📷 Barnaby Fairly

Following the release of the new single Stardog, we caught up with Mitch from the band to discuss their new video, what they’ve been up to during lockdown and some of their favourite things about festivals.

Head over to our Instagram page to see the full interview hosted by Jenelle Smith.

© Beyond The Woods Festival 2021