Foliage roams dreamlike landscapes via gossamer synth explorations on “What I Deserve” (BPM Premiere)

Flying under indie music’s radar for the past six years has allowed Manuel Joseph Walker the time to craft his own insular aesthetic free from pervasive influences and ridden with the haptic intensity of new experiences. Obsessed with jangling pop sounds and the complexity of hip-hop’s internal mechanics, Walker was a teenage production prodigy, releasing albums that vaulted him into the hallowed halls of DIY acclaim from numerous online sites and who was adored by fans from all over the country. When he was only 16, he developed the moniker of Foliage as way to channel these impulsive rhythmic expulsions into a shivery pop and beat-dappled sound.

After the release of those early albums, he shared stages with artists such as Dent May, Black Marble, and Seahaven and is now poised to bring his bedroom beat-pop collages to an even wider audience with Better Man, his debut record for Dowd Records out October 2 (or on Z Tapes for the cassette version). Where his previous releases were bathed in a cocooning landscape of blissful genre obliviousness, Better Man finds him playing around in some well-defined musical environments, touching upon drum-n-bass, shoegaze, synth-pop, and bossa nova just to name a few. There’s a newfound maturity to these songs which reveal Walker’s continual growth from bedroom maestro to overt genre-devourer.

For our latest glimpse into Better Man’s interior chambers and free-from melodic experimentation, Walker offers “What I Deserve”, a glistening and casual synth-led confection that ambles along breezily, though there is purpose here. His swaying voice anchors the airy synths that dot the surrounding rhythmic architecture, adding weight and direction to a song that feels as ethereal as a half-remembered dream: imagine Toro Y Moi jamming with Thompson Twins. The song offers luxuriant atmospheres in which to indulge, but the underlying emotions are constantly rippling to the surface, disrupting the tranquil façade for all those keen enough to engage with its multifaceted subtleties.

Foliage will release their new record Better Man on October 2 via Dowd Records and Z Tapes. Keep track of the band on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.