You may remember us singing rather high praise indeed a few weeks ago for Magazine, the debut single from Wall – aka London-based songstress Lyla Foy. The first signing to the Black Cab Sessions record label (BCS Records), Wall makes heart-stopping minimalist pop music; all yearning vocals over calm and unhurried electronic instrumentation.
Things have been moving fast for her so far; last week she recorded a Daytrotter session, there has been coverage from mainstream radio and she recently sold-out The Sebright Arms for her first show since signing to BCS Records. Not a bad start at all then.
Magazine is officially out this week (you can buy it here), so we caught up with Lyla for a chat about the single, the reaction to her music and what the next step is…
Hello! How has your Summer been?
Hello GFP. I’ve been writing lots of songs so I think I missed it. It’s been good to put the first single together and do our first show last month though.
Are you looking forward to the Autumn?
Yes, September is my favourite month. I’m looking forward to big coats and boots. We’ve got some nice out-of-town shows coming up too, which we’ll be revealing soon. I’ve also booked a week away in Cornwall to finish my album.
Your single is officially out this week, what can you tell us about it?
The single is called Magazine and it’s about wishing you were somewhere else. There’s some Summery imagery in the song but it’s actually quite sad. It’s about being forgotten and left behind. We’ve also released Over My Head as a B-side, which I think gives a hint at what the album will sound like. I’ve arranged the songs with a minimal backdrop to give the vocals room to breathe and I’ve been messing around with a more percussive element to my voice.
Have you been pleased with the reaction to it?
Yes, people seem to like the songs and it’s been really great to be on the radio! I think we’re all just desperate to take it out on the road now and see how many things can go wrong with our geeky live set-up.
How did the Black Cab Sessions collaboration come about?
Black Cab Sessions heard my track ‘No Secrets‘ on Soundcloud and got in touch. They wanted to film a session at first but after a little while we decided to do a 7″ with them. They wanted to get into records and we wanted to put one out. It’s been really great having a fresh spin to this release, and they’re amazing to work with.
Things are moving pretty fast for you. Did you foresee that happening?
I didn’t expect it at all. It’s been great that people are writing about us online and Black Cab Sessions and Soundcloud have helped amazingly.
You recently sold-out The Sebright Arms. Was it a fun night? What is your live set-up, do you play with a band?
I was mainly just very, very nervous. It was brilliant though. Right now there are three of us in the live band. I’m lucky enough to have my boyfriend on bass and samples, and my best mate on guitar and keys. I play an 80′s casio keyboard.
You just recorded a Daytrotter session, was that a fun experience?
Yeah it’s a great little studio and I make no secret of the fact that I love the producer, Ian Grimble. They record the sessions to tape, I’ve never recorded that way before.
How does your song-writing process work? Any specific rules you need to adhere to?
I’ve been fairly disciplined with WALL. I start with the bass line and then work on the melodies and lyrics and record my vocals, then arrange everything else. I’m recording a lot of noises in the room, and mistakes are all part of it. Instead of hiding them I make a feature of them. If you listen really closely to No Secrets, there’s some mumbling and clattering on a loop, it becomes part of the rhythm.
Can we expect an album/EP in the coming months?
We’re releasing another single before the end of the year, and working towards an album coming out next spring.
What have you been listening to recently? Anything you can recommend us…
Beth Gibbons/Rustin Man ‘ Out Of Season’
Timber Timbre ‘Keep On Creepin On’
Otis Redding ‘Pain In My Heart’
Race Horses ‘Furniture’
Little Joy – Daytrotter Session
Interview by Tom Johnson