Release Date: Mar 18, 2014
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Electronic, Indie Pop, Swedish Pop/Rock
It’s probably safe to say that most people are probably more familiar with Lyla Foy when she was running under the veil of WALL, but it’s also probably safe to say that they won’t be getting confused for long. Since casting out her monomynous moniker, Foy’s gone on to ink a worldwide deal with Sub Pop for her full-length debut. The London singer-songwriter’s not changed much about her musical identity though, and that melody-driven dreamfolk amalgam is intact, with early single No Secrets surviving the transfiguration.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Mirrors the Sky - it is stripped of all excess. The record, released via Sup Pop, doesn't try to pack in as much as possible into the sound. Instead, Lyla Foy keeps herself where she feels most comfortable: simplistic compositions where her wonderful voice gets to stand out and shine out in her distinct, innocent-seeming fashion.
To record her first full-length, Mirrors the Sky, London singer-songwriter-producer Lyla Foy had to leave the city. She hauled her instruments and equipment out into the English countryside, where she recorded herself performing songs on overcast beaches, in deep woods, or in sunny fields. As she told the 405 recently, “One of my trips took me up to the Lake District, and another to the blustery coast of Cornwall, during a storm.
London-based singer/songwriter Lyla Foy first emerged in late 2012 working under the alias WALL. The project came about on a lark, with the inspired Foy calling off plans with friends to instead work on music by herself at home. She came up with the first of what would be several incredibly well-received tracks that would be spread around the Internet over many months, ultimately culminating in her dropping the WALL moniker in favor of her given name, and signing to the Sub Pop label for debut album Mirrors the Sky.
The debut album from London’s Lyla Foy is a delicate, featherlite thing; pretty enough, filled with sonic detail but dangerously easy to overlook if you let your mind wander. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing: Mirrors The Sky is full of airy vocals, subtle guitars and beats beneath dandelion clock melodies, but what it contains most of all is space. Entirely self-produced, Foy, once known under the moniker WALL, encodes her debut with a dreamy, hazy quality and while you can focus down on the deceptively sparse arrangements it’s easy to lose yourself in them.
While U.K. singer-songwriter Lyla Foy's 2013 EP, Shoestring, was confident and, if nothing else, steady in its muted wistfulness and delicate, spare instrumentation, one couldn't help but feel emotionally underwhelmed by it. The consistency in tone and song structure announced Foy's style, but it also made the music feel pocket-sized and one-dimensional, like it would be served best on an indie movie soundtrack or as the background music to halcyon Sunday chores.
The reasoning behind west Londoner Lyla Foy’s decision to switch from operating under alter ego WALL to her actual name is, we’re reliably informed, because she “decided to come out from behind her WALL”. Puns aside, Foy’s vocals are so hushed for the most of debut album, ‘Mirrors The Sky’ that it’s arguable that could very well still be hidden.“Softer than a whisper”, she sings during ‘Only Human’, and that’s as close a description to the songwriter’s voice as it’s possible to get. During ‘Rumour’ and ‘No Secrets’ it’s gorgeous – the organic, understated instrumentation allowing the delicate, folk-ish tones to shine brilliantly.
Thinking back to the early days of Nirvana and the Seattle sound, it’s saddening now to see Sub Pop sink to such John Lewisian delusions of alternativity as these. You can see why they plumped for Londoner Lyla Foy for their first UK signing in years, though. There could be something here, and Foy deploys her eletronicad-up folk-pop with classy restraint.