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INTERVIEW: Foley Brings Joyful Funk with New EP Vacation

After making waves in New Zealand with their debut EP On My Conscience, Auckland-based duo Foley is back stronger than ever with their sophomore EP Vacation. Joyful, honest and full of funk: Vacation is the soundtrack for those perfect sunny days. And while Spring might not be here yet, this EP will at least make our winter a whole lot more fun. Ahead of the release, we chatted to Ash and Gabriel about the start of Foley, the New Zealand music scene and how their musical influences.

RC: Hi Foley! Can you describe the music you make in three words?

F: Vibes, Groovers, Funk.

RC: You’re about to release your second EP Vacation: what’s the story behind its creation?

F: This EP is kind of a romanticising of taking a vacation – be that from your day to day, the monotony, your location, just getting that space away from whatever you need. All the songs really have this sense of freedom and fun about them, and just letting go like you really do on vacation. We wrote this EP over a year since our last EP, and its been a crazy, hilarious, totally enriching experience.

RC: Following the success of your debut EP ‘On My Conscience’, how has your style evolved since then? Do you feel your approach to making music has changed?

F: I think we’ve stopped second guessing ourselves and just committed to what we want to make. We’ve really grown from just writing pop music we liked, so having more of an edge and a conviction in what we write. We definitely maintain the funk aspects, and groove is always going to be really important to us but we’ve allowed ourselves to move away from sticking too strictly to that.

RC: What were your biggest influences for Vacation?

F: I think our musical influences shine through, but we were also inspired hugely by chats and spending time with each other and our friends and family. That’s where the song ideas come from and we spend a lot of time making sure the music, chords and lyrics fit whatever it is we’re trying to say! For Vacation that’s just the essence of figuring things out and becoming confident with yourself!

RC: Both of you have performed in bands before forming Foley, what made you start Foley and what has been the best thing about being in a duo compared to a band?

F: I guess our bands were both just really young- we had an absolutely brilliant experience in both bands, and we really grew up into our music chops through those bands. Now being in a duo with your best mate it’s just so clear that we both love what we do, and are completely committed to what we do, and we can be so honest with each other. Its super rad and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

RC: What is the New Zealand music scene like right now? As one of the few countries who has handled the pandemic well, do you feel it has influenced you a lot or not at all?

F: We feel super lucky to be in New Zealand, not just for the pandemic! The scene here is incredible and is just an eclectic mix of genres and incredible people doing really unique things. We’re quite an outward facing country so a lot of influence comes from overseas, but the environment here is quite relaxed and carefree which really shows in the music. It’s been amazing to be able to play shows and collaborate in person with people, which definitely influenced the Vacation EP.

RC: What are you most excited about for this year?

F: Really hoping we can make it overseas at some point! But it’s so hard to plan, so we’re just looking forward to getting creative again and discovering new things & experiences that we can write about. More live shows as well of course!

RC: If you could perform at any venue in the world, where would it be and why?

F: That’s super hard to choose! Playing at a super iconic festival like Glastonbury or Coachella would be incredible for the ‘festy’ vibes, and stadiums like the O2 are what we grew up watching our favourite bands play. So either of those I guess! Not too much to ask for [laughs].

RC: Lastly, if you could perform with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

F (Gabriel): I’d really like to play with my grandfather, who was in a UK army band back in World War 2. I never got to meet him but they say he could play any instrument he picked up and I would love to share a moment with him.

The Vacation EP is out now.

Photos by Frances Carter.

You can check out our other interviews here, or give them a listen on out interviewees playlist.

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