Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

The White Foliage-Zurich EP

October 1, 2005

thewhitefoliage

Band Name: The White Foliage
Album Name: Zurich EP
Best Element: Visionary songwriting.
Genre: Dream-pop/indie-pop
Website: www.thefoliage.fallrecords.com
Label Name: Fall Records (www.fallrecords.com)
Band E-mail: whitefoliage@gmail.com

This album, the Zurich EP by the White Foliage, nearly made this entire edition late. You see, I love the band. I love them a whole lot- but because they’re so amazingly good, I couldn’t figure out for the longest time how to adequately express the unique, dreamy, transcendent beauty that the White Foliage coaxes out of French horns, pianos, plucked guitars, samples, cooing vocals, and some deft inclusions of electronics. It’s so completely different than anything I’ve ever heard that it took me literally weeks of listening to be able to say something about it.

But I’ve figured it out. The White Foliage is a pop band that got bored with pop conventions- there’s absolutely nothing normal here. Choruses are rare, the vocals consist of ambient cooing, the instrumentation is extremely odd (as I’ve already noted), and yet, they make it sound amazing. The White Foliage would fall under the category of avant-pop, as they strive to make beautiful, accessible pieces of music- but the basis of “Drug Song” is built off a strong piano riff and a great French horn solo. The formational elements of the title track are (I think) a mandolin and brushed drum line (with some cello help), while “Dreams of the Silver Moon” employs a pulsing drum-beat as its spine.

Their lack of convention does not mean that they can’t turn a hook- the vocal hook in “Zurich” is undeniable, and the songwriting on “Nostaligia” (as close to a normal song as The White Foliage gets) is a beautiful instrumental ballad, bringing to mind a bit of the children’s song “My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean” while creating an aura of nostalgia (I don’t know why they chose to put an I in the title, but it’s their music, not mine).

That aura is present throughout this entire album, and it is the object that sustains this album. The mood is the best element here- the fact that all 6 of these songs deal in introspective, awe-struck, beautiful moods that will take you to a new place in your mind. It’s escapist in its purist form- there is nothing in indie-pop quite like The White Foliage, and that’s why you’ll love them so much. It’s actual innovation- a new sound. It’s truly amazing. I cannot wait to hear more from this extremely talented now-trio, because Zurich has proved that they are songwriters who are mature beyond their years.

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses@hotmail.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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