EXCLUSIVE: Foley Talks New EP ‘Vacation’ and Music in New Zealand

Featured Photo Credit: Frances Carter

On the latest episode of ECHO-The Podcast, we sat down with New Zealand Pop Duo, Foley. 

Following their 2020 debut EP, ‘On My Conscience,’  Ash Wallace and Gabriel Everett have continued to create infectious tracks that resonate with their over 85,000 monthly Spotify listeners. 

On their sophomore EP ‘Vacation,’ Foley create and  contemplate different avenues of escape, while delving into love, loss and learning.

Foley took a break from festivals and their mini tour across New Zealand to chat with us about how the pandemic changed music in New Zealand, their new EP and more! 

Excerpt from the podcast:

You just released your new EP ‘Vacation!’ How does it feel to have this out? And what was the process for creating it?

Ash: I don’t know. It’s kind of don’t have words for it, but it feels really good to have it out. We didn’t want to slow down just because of everything happening in the world. We’re writing music for people to hear it, so it feels good to have it out. I think ‘Vacation’ being the theme behind the whole thing is quite fitting because a lot of people across the world really need, you know, some escapism, even just like a mental vacation. That feels really poignant. We wrote “Rendevous” during a lockdown in New Zealand. Then all the other songs were written post lockdown scattered around when we were really feeling that sense of we all just need a bit of a break and a bit of a holiday. That concept is kind of romanticized even more now of like getting away from everything when everyone’s been facing so much, but not being at home.

It feels really awesome to have the songs out. They mean a lot to us. Some of them are really personal and really close to our heart so it feels really good for people to hear them.

Gabe: We did a lot of collaborating as usual. I think this EP has more producers on it than the last one. We were trying to challenge ourselves and try to write really directly and really clearly, but like bring in some influences that we wanted, like Ash was saying before about “So Personal” being more of that summery kind of New Zealand based sound blended with the kind of pop sensibilities that we’re kind of hearing from overseas.

We really wanted to try and touch on everything. We worked with like a bunch of incredible people that could kind of help us facilitate that. I think our songwriting, especially from the last one has gotten a lot more succinct and a lot more direct. I think we learned through the process of writing about how to really direct each session to say like what we wanted to say and get really just get a bit better at our craft. I’m really proud of it.

Can you talk a little bit about what the inspiration for your single, “Better Than Love” was?

Ash: That song was it was one of the quickest ones. That was initially written in one day, and then after that, we kind of just like nitpicked over it and fixed things up. The inspiration for that song was really about when you’re approaching a new relationship and you’ve been hurt before – that kind of wall that you build up, and almost like self-sabotage when you feel like something’s way too good to be true.

When I first met my partner, which was when we wrote the song, I think it was about three weeks in and I was like, ‘wow, this person is absolutely incredible. They are everything that I would ever want, but I really don’t want to get ahead of myself and then end up getting hurt because they’re not the person that I think they are, they’re not who I’m building them up in my head to be.’ I think that’s really common when you meet someone, you get so ahead of yourself and get so excited. It’s kind of unfair to the other person ’cause it’s like how could they even meet that expectation?

The initial inspiration was just that feeling of being a bit guarded and being really cautious going into something because how you build someone up. The main lyric, “the thought of you is better than love” – ’cause it’s like the thought of what I think this might end up to be is so much better, that expectation is so high. It’s even better than what love actually is. But you know, it worked out great – he was better than I had imagine.

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