Congratulations to Alfie Neale on the birth of his newest brain child… it’s a groove!! ‘Stepping Stones’ demonstrates some SERIOUS talent coming out of Brighton. More chune for your headtop, let’s get familiar…
Best small label of 2019, Scruff of the Neck, have had another victory this week as their newest addition proves how chronically talented he is in this new release. Alfie Neale’s music has poignant flavours of soul, reggae, jungle and hip hop (just wait, I’ll get to that bit). The first track to be released in 7 months, ‘Stepping Stones’ is a phenomenal return from Alfie and his band. Heck, even from the first few beats of the percussion I was SOLD. The rhythm is so crisp and tight, driving the track with an energy that just deserves to be danced along to. Alfie’s soothing voice demonstrates a vocal range that some artists only dream of, starting off deep and raspy, then going sweet and angelic before finally dropping a lil hip-hop flow – it’s a real treat for the ears.
Pause. Let’s just talk about that switch up about 2/3’s of the way in. Stupendous. Seasoned fans will expect this hip-hop-esque/spoken-word flow from earlier tracks such as ‘Tongue Tied’ or ‘Liquor Dreams’ but I was taken completely by surprise. Quick, snappy bars dominate the pared down, pulsating instrumental to provide a moment of calm in this carnival of sound. It really has it all, can I please copywrite the phrase: “Alfie Neale is the Swiss Army Knife of music”?
He even did an acoustic version of ‘Stepping Stones’ for The Selector Radio which managed to retain the beautiful bouncy rhythm with the help of Ollie Webb on percussion, Albin Ostberg on the sax and Naomi Moodie on the keys (do listen to it through the link at the bottom!). On the brink of selling out his first headline show in London, as well as playing another headline show in Manchester, the future is looking bright for Alfie Neale. For locals, he will also be supporting the wonderful Cassia in Leeds on the 16th of October at The Wardrobe. As for future releases, we’ve been teased by the possibility of more to come this year… yes please!
The verdict: Popcorn. You can choose your variety: salty, sweet, buttery – because he can do it all. It’s warm, it’s welcoming, it’s a lil bit addictive. Alfie Neale is about to POP! (I’ll see myself out)
Listen for yourself:
- The Selector Radio, Alfie Neale live in session (36:22 for ‘Stepping Stones’): https://www.mixcloud.com/SelectorRadio/the-great-escape-2019-special-ft-alfie-neale-transgressive-records-l-devine-future-bubblers/