Alfie Templeman’s “Radiosoul” Influences Playlist

The London-based dance-pop songwriter shares how everyone from Can to Dua Lipa inspired his follow-up to 2022’s Mellow Moon.

Alfie Templeman’s Radiosoul Influences Playlist

The London-based dance-pop songwriter shares how everyone from Can to Dua Lipa inspired his follow-up to 2022’s Mellow Moon.

Words: Kim March


June 07, 2024

According to UK songwriter Alfie Templeman, the spark for his new album Radiosoul was unexpectedly ignited a few months after the release of 2022’s Mellow Moon in the midst of a creative lull. “In February 2023, I planned a small trip to the USA and fell back in love with recording music,” he shared upon first revealing details of the record’s existence. That rejuvenating experience owes plenty to encounters with Chic’s Nile Rodgers and producer Oscar Scheller, which inspired him to connect with a handful of prominent production figures in London upon returning home.

The result is a record that’s somehow even more joyful than its predecessor, a collection of 11 tracks that blend his base of upbeat dance-pop with the nuances of synth-funk, nu-disco, and alternative R&B. Where Mellow Moon was considerably more premeditated, Radiosoul is a work of spontaneous collaboration (including a track with Rodgers on guitar) and a continual push to go further with each successive recording. While there’s certainly an autobiographical narrative to be found in the lyrics (the recording coincided with Templeman turning 20), the anxieties expressed are constantly drowned out by the excitement about what might be just around the corner.

With the record out today via Chess Club/AWAL, we asked Templeman to break down a few of the influences he leaned on while the album came together, with the results being as unique as Radiosoul itself. From the “erotic falsetto” of Prince to the winding instrumentals of Can, check out all of his picks below.

Tom Tom Club, “Genius of Love”
There are lots of interesting ping-pong echo bits going on in this song, along with great bass playing that really inspired the choppiness of “Eyes Wide Shut.”

Talking Heads, “Once in a Lifetime”
This track has amazing staccato synth layers that I wanted to put into songs like “Eyes Wide Shut” and “Vultures.” For “Eyes Wide Shut,” I was inspired by how wacky and existential David Byrne comes across in his vocal and lyrical delivery. 

Todd Rundgren, “International Feel”
A Wizard, a True Star got me into modular synthesis and the opening track from the record, “International Feel,” was a massive inspiration to me growing up. I wanted to pan a lot of crazy sounds throughout the record, but “Vultures” really milks the whole maximal sound that Todd goes for on this track thanks to those great synth sounds. 

Dua Lipa, “Don’t Start Now”
It’s just really great, addictive pop music—sugary and indulgent. “Hello Lonely” was all about that vibe, and this track most definitely came into play when creating that song. 

Stereolab, “Diagonals”
I really love the layers of guitars that come in after that intro. Along with that tight drum groove in 10/8. “Beckham” came from trying to achieve that sound displayed perfectly on “Diagonals.” Stereolab is one of my favorite bands, as they wear their influences on their sleeves very proudly while simultaneously doing their own thing. 

Chic, “Le Freak”

Loving, “Visions”
Been obsessed with this band for six or seven years now. They blend the whole slacker-indie rock thing with beautiful lo-fi folk incredibly well. I went for a Loving vibe on the track “Submarine.” There’s a lot of slide and dry, fat drums on that track.

Radiohead, “Weird Fishes / Arpeggi”
For “Run to Tomorrow,” I subconsciously tapped into that pretty dual guitar thing that happens on “Weird Fishes.” It felt good to me and fit the sound and topic of the song, so why not, eh? It kind of is the best Radiohead track, so I must be doing something right. 

Alex G, “S.D.O.S.”
I just nicked the end piano part of this track and fucked about with it for “Switch,” ’cause it sounded sick. That’s it, to be honest. 

Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
Great groove and awesome melodies. Re-wrote an old song of mine, “This Is Just the Beginning,” in the style of this banger and it worked really well for some reason!

Prince, “I Wanna Be Your Lover”
For the track “Drag,” I went for a very high, slightly erotic falsetto along with some tight bass chops. Both elements were inspired heavily by the legend that is Prince. 

Can, “Future Days”
The ending of “Beckham” has a bit of a “Future Days” thing going on. I wanted the song to build and build ’til it eventually collapses on itself. “Future Days” doesn’t really collapse, but it builds an incredible ambiance around itself that was a key part to making the end of “Beckham” come to life.