Saturday, May 24, 2014

Lyla Foy Looks At Mirrors In The Sky

As the Targetization of folk music continues and any singer with a lilting voice and a bit of quirkiness about them is used to market clothing, cleaning products, cars and just about everything else it’s becoming harder to find those singers that are, you know, actually entertaining. Sub Pop thankfully has searched high and low and found the latest quality singer songwriter with a difference. Her name Lyla Foy, her album Mirrors In The Sky. The pitch? Think a bit of chillwave from a quirky and cute singer/songwriter singing under a dull grey sky in the mountains and you have an idea of where Lyla is coming from.

Mirrors In The Sky is a moody, soaring affair that takes the singer/songwriter template and chucks it out the window. Sure there’s plenty of strummy guitars and lilting melodies but the melancholic minimal beats and gloomy atmospherics make the record feel and sound completely different. Lyla Foy constructs her songs in such an intimate way that the lyrics are practically whispered and some of the sounds barely audible. Her and her band use these subtle textures and instrumentation to set the scene and mood in fine fashion. A song like, “Rumour, “ for example, barely raises its voice but it’s waltz like rhythm and ghost-like ambiance allows the song to sound detached, unobtrusive, and veiled in mystery. While her quieter acoustic moments do little for me, when Lyla and her cohorts embrace the more electronic end of things and her songs envelope us she’s clearly at her best.

Perhaps a bit like Kate Bush at times, Lyla Foy has the weird angle thing down pat. This is an artist who takes her own obscure path towards being a singer/songwriter and lets her songs march to the beat of a different drum. Because of this Mirrors In The Sky is a bit outside of the retail folk mainstream. It’s for that reason that her songs are good and why I found her Sub Pop debut worthwhile.

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