We catch up with 25 year old London-based songwriter Lyla Foy for a new noise grilling
In most aspects of life, it’s usually a good idea to keep your options open, lest you deny yourself the opportunity to explore avenues that might lead to transcendence or, at the very least, a little bit more happiness. But sometimes the best course of action is to find your path and stay focused, which is what Lyla Foy has been doing with her music for the past couple of years, a discovery that has led to the creation of her debut album, Mirrors the Sky, due in spring on Sub Pop. We catch up with Lyla herself to find out more…
When did you first encounter music?
My Dad was a big fan of Ella Fitzgerald, and one of her records was playing in the hospital room as I popped out.
Does that mean you have always wanted to pursue this as a career?
I’ve always loved music, and the first time I wrote a song I knew it was the thing for me. Songs are my perfect way to communicate.
What artists influence your sound?
Each and every thing I listen to is sure to filter in. I have a broad palette though; electronic music, trip hop, Americana. I love up-tempo and mid-tempo music to work to, and melancholy music to drink wine to. The list is long but at the moment I’m spinning Carole King, Sharon Van Etten, Cat Power, Leonard Cohen, Marine Girls, Hotel Lights and Sylvan Esso. The sound of a record is not as important to me as the song itself. It’s just a nice outfit on a beautiful person, if I can use a crude metaphor.
So you sing, songwrite and produce your music. Which part of the process to you love the most and why?
I love the excitement of recording because as a songwriter it’s hard to hear what you’re doing with any perspective until you listen back to it through speakers. I record hours of rubbish into my dictaphone, thinking nothing good has come out of it until I listen back. Sometimes I’m surprised that I nearly missed a song in there. I have no memory for my own melodies so unless I record things when I’m messing around I’d never finish a song!
Well it’s a good job you record them! Where does the inspiration for your lyrics come from?
Things I see, people I meet and personal experiences that touch, hurt me, or cause any reaction within me, really. When I’m travelling I try and keep my eyes wide open – take pictures, sketch – but most of all talk to people. Nothing is more inspiring than that.
You’ve been performing all across Europe as of late, which country have you loved the most?
I absolutely adored driving into the Swiss mountains. We stayed in a tiny town thousands of feet up. When we arrived it was eerie as we were amongst clouds, but the next morning when the sky had cleared, it was like walking around on top of the world.
You’ve just done Glasto, but what does the rest of the year hold for you?
Lots and lots more touring and travelling, and I’m taking a month out to begin writing some new tracks in the Autumn.