Matt Foley’s Quarter is a beautiful outcome of uncomfortable self-reflection
Striking albums often make some kind of ruckus, even if just a small one, when they’re released. And that was not the case when Matt Foley quietly released his stunning album, Quarter, back in February.
Foley himself seems to be a reticent person in general, offering only a few words on himself in an email: “I was born and raised in Philadelphia, attended college here as well, and don’t see myself leaving anytime soon.” As an extension, Quarter holds an air of mystery, and yet there is something incredibly open and honest about the album – it’s contradictory and deceptively complex.
Quarter maintains a relatively relaxed and consistent sound throughout; it’s the type of album with no clear stand-outs, because each song hits every note that it needs. Deep, laid-back vocals and some easy guitar sit front and center while atmospheric synths build the background. Without even considering the lyrics, the album sounds like the kind best suited for a rainy summer day or a late, late night in spring.
As Foley explains, he recorded a version of the album back in March 2020, but he was ultimately unsatisfied with it. Then his computer crashed and he lost the whole thing anyway. Rebuilding the album, Foley felt more connected to the songs than he had the first time, “When I restarted from scratch to record the songs last year…they had all been written for some time. Most of the recording process I found myself reading and singing the lyrics and music, and actually understanding what I had meant when I wrote them cluelessly over a year (or in some cases two years) ago.”
Ultimately, the album is an introspective piece, both in its content and its creation.
Quarter gave me an opportunity to look at where I currently stand, and where I stood over the past few years, and notice not much has changed mentally. I noticed in looking back, that I’ve essentially been holding back on a lot of things in my life in order to appease others, which has led to some really awful mental states at times. There’s some dark personal stuff on Quarter that I was even hesitant to include or hesitant to show to other people (still am). But I think that’s where I was left to make the choice back in last March to continue going, because I understood the importance of it all to myself. I understood that it mattered more to push myself to write and record something that I could put my name on and that was honest, than it mattered to just give up and move on. I had to confront myself, and really take inventory on where I stand mentally. I knew I had to be honest in my work, and even though it made me uncomfortable to be honest in these songs, I’ve felt like I achieved something here; even if it’s just something a few people might listen to.
Check out Quarter below and be sure to follow Foley on Instagram.