EP Review – Foley – Vacation

Today marks the arrival of New Zealand based pop duo Foley’s new EP, ‘Vacation’.

Grounded by mellow pop grooves and honeyed vocals, “Better Than Love” is a dreamy exploration of the prospect of love versus the reality of love and the way we close ourselves off from emotion to save yourself from future heartbreak. When love is so built up to us as extravagant, dramatic and awe consuming, how can it ever live up to our expectations? (“The thought of you is better than love”). The tight friendship between Foley’s Ash Wallace and Gabriel Everett allows them to write openly and vulnerably with each other and “Better Than Love” is a testament to that. For this single, the duo also brought in their close collaborators and longtime friends Josh Naley (Wells*) and Jonathan Boyle (Julius Black).

Foley is the late night conversations, not-so-existential crises & the genuinely unbreakable friendship of 20-somethings Ash Wallace and Gabriel Everett. Honest to a fault, Foley have quickly picked up a fanbase of young like-minded listeners for their confessions of love, loss and learning. Their debut EP ‘On My Conscience,’ was released in 2020 and saw huge success across commercial radio and streaming platforms, hitting #10 on the NZ Album Charts and plastered the pair across multiple Spotify playlist covers. They rounded out the year with the release of singles “Rendezvous” and “So Personal,” which will join “Better Than Love” on their upcoming sophomore EP, ‘Vacation,’ out on March 15th.

In addition to their streaming success, Foley have graced New Zealand’s largest New Years festival Rhythm & Vines3 times, most recently playing a main-stage slot on New Year’s Eve. The pair have also shared the stage with Two Door Cinema Club, Flight Facilities & Crooked Colours at indie fest Spring City, and opened for Drax Project on their NZ tour and Six60’s stadium show in Hamilton early in 2020.

Vacation starts off very unexpected. Having listened to ‘Better Than Love’ previously before the full EP, ‘Keep Me On My Toes’ does exactly as intended and opens to something of a experience which is second to none. The uplifting musicality that the duo radiate is one to give themselves a identifier that they mean business.

‘Rendezvous’ keeps up the energy of what Foley are and this is a track that keeps you on your toes in an intriguing choice which proves this is a concise effort so far.

More slowed down for ‘Anything Before You’, it feels a step down if anything and could be considered an outlier for the choice in the tracklisting of the EP. That being said, it bites back and mostly comes into its own partway into the track which is a good celebration of the tight friendship between Foley’s Ash Wallace and Gabriel Everett. They do breathe new life into the track further down the road, so this might be worth a rewind or two.

There’s just something so grounded and cathartic about ‘Better Than Love’ It’s a testament to what can be great pop music which comes from honesty and an alluring instrumental sound with soulful lyrics to match. This is something so personal that it needs to be heard right now and given the current pandemic in the world, is a track which could heal some wounds for those that listen to the duo.

On the finale ‘So Personal’ it feels as if it’s more of a autobiographical track to showcase something even more special . What’s more is that the style doesn’t diverge one bit where they create a seamless track to the point of which their collaborative effort is unquestionably brilliant.

Overall, Foley prove to be a powerhouse with ‘Vacation’ with their personal lyrics and tightening friendship which extends to their music and songwriting. We just hope that this extends further and they continue to create more and more vulnerable and open music in the future.

Check out the EP via your preferred streaming service.

Rating: 3.5/5

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