Ever since WALL. emerged with “Magazine” in the summer of 2012 there has been something captivating about Lyla Foy’s songwriting. This initial outing, with its less-is-more approach, foreshadowed the gentle pop direction she was set to take; a route that many young artists appear to be avoiding.
Dropping the moniker in favour of her own name, Foy signed to iconic Seattle label Sub Pop for her debut full-length Mirrors The Sky, and a gorgeous debut it is.
From its outset a sonic theme becomes immediately apparent: a hushed, lullaby vocal takes centre-stage above soft, rounded synth tones and moments of subtle crunching guitar punctuation, that cuts through the cotton wool production; ‘Honeymoon’ floats the listener effortlessly into the record.
Elsewhere, catchy hooks and quietly uplifting pop songs prove there is more to Mirrors The Sky than downbeat melancholia. ‘Impossible’ stands-out as such a moment, with its brilliant chorus that has the ability to lodge in the brain and get the feet tapping. Likewise, ‘Only Human’ and ‘Feather Tongue’ bumble along beautifully with typical simplicity, thanks to their synthesised drumbeats – a rhythmic technique adopted throughout.
Poise and emotion come to the fore with ‘No Secrets’: “I wanna learn to love you yeah / I’ve been an actor on a set” Foy pines above building layers of organ and a muted bass line, with the subtextual sadness of the likes of Sharon Van Etten. Alongside ‘Someday’, with its meandering crescendo and warm hue, it is the most touching outing in a record that establishes Lyla Foy as a precocious talent with a very bright future ahead; the sky’s the limit.