For such an ostensibly uncomplicated song, Alphabetic’s smooth new single ‘French Boyfriend calls to mind a veritable trove of melodies and feelings, some contemporary, some classic. The lead single to their debut album Touch (released July 15) features velvety riffs and chords that hint at a musical affinity with the luxurious side of pop music, perhaps a nod to The Cure.
But lyrically the song is creepy and voyeuristic – a kind of modern retelling of the Talking Heads hit ‘Psycho Killer’ without the murder. Guitarist and co-vocalist Walter Heale’s verses project him into a car outside an ex-beau’s house in Paris wondering ‘what’s so great about french boys anyway?’ as he sees her going to bed with another man. Rebecca Lever’s charming voice (lyrically in character as the object of his affection), rebukes him as she thinks ‘about calling the police again’.
Fun and totally flippant, it’s also a love song to Paris – a city which the band hold dear in their hearts, and listening to the buoyancy of the music, it’s also an influence which seems to have seeped into the cracks of their songwriting.