Whilst trawling through numerous Soundcloud links and trying to find a track for ‘Song of The Week’ but not having much luck, the appearance of an unexplained link in your inbox could seem promising. Obviously the mystery of what this actually is becomes too intriguing to ignore and, upon clicking, you’re taken to what can only be described as an aurora of hallucinatory blue flowers accompanied by the sound of ambient guitars and distant vocals from the track Wait For Me. It’s then clear that this isn’t a hallucination and in fact the Bandcamp site for Foliage, the solo project of 17 year old M. Joseph Walker who’s fast becoming California’s answer to the surfgaze/dream pop scene. Subsequently ‘Song of The Week’ goes out the window and Foliage’s latest album Truths instead takes it’s place.
The album opens with the title track Truths which sets down a tone of faded harmonies and bright melodies which we hear throughout the album. If you were looking for Foliage’s music in a record store, there’d be no need to go any further than the easy listening section where the chiming guitars and spaced out vocals of tracks like URL, Wait For Me and Seasons draw comparison to late 60s psychedelia movement of peace and tranquility – something which Foliage modernises in this album. His use of FX to replicate these kinds of sounds is particularly special with sweeping filters and echoing percussion in Coma and The Things I Do For Love giving the album it’s idyllic and dreamy ambiance so, closing with Conceal, it’s clear that Walker has managed to create a rare item of serenity among the roar and noise of home city San Bernardino.
Everything from the music to even the album cover is peaceful with a painted bridge over the still bay of what is probably San Bernardino being depicted. For some, a lack of differentiation in sound between tracks may be a criticism of the album however for most it’s a case of that once you’ve started listening, it just all seems to flow.
With Truths being his debut album and follow up to the three song EP Singles (which its artwork happens to be where the blue flowers mentioned earlier are taken from), Foliage’s music is almost a form of escapism helping us to take a step back from the speed of things whether it be personally or on a wider level.
Words by William Castile