UK Singer/Producer Lyla Foy (A.K.A WALL) has likely popped up on your music radar as of late. After a killer series of sold-out shows opening for Los Angeles-based Local Natives in Europe, WALL has built nothing but buzz for her US debut. Her newest single “Shoestring” off her self-titled EP expresses a talented lyricist’s quiet side. Vaguely reminiscent of Au Revoir Simone’s space-age lounge sounds, Foy’s sleepy instrumentals and lyrics that read like poetry invite the listener to just drift away into the music.
Eerie, fragile vocals add another unique brick in the “wall” of dream-pop artists that have been taking the music community by storm over the past year. WALL leaves nothing but an impression of what is to come in the future, and the future is looking fairly bright. LA CANVAS had a chance to get one-on-one with Lyla whilst she finished off a leg of European show dates, in preparation for her performances on 3/8 at The Bootleg and 3/11 at The Echo with March Monday Night Residents Harriet.
Listen to the new single “Shoestring” here.
As you are from the UK, how does it feel to have your music now overseas in the states?
It feels amazing, it’s a dream to be travelling to the US. I’m especially excited about LA as I thought I’d never been there. But my Mum just informed me we did visit when I was eight years old. I have a terrible memory.
Do you produce all the tracks yourself? Or do you have other collaborators you work with?
It’s a pretty solitary operation at the moment, although I can work with people on the music-side. When it comes to lyrics and melodies though, no one’s allowed in. Beginning WALL for me was trying something new, not thinking about a band or how I’d play live. Just letting the songs do what they want and be how they want. Then when I had to prepare a live show it was a bit overwhelming, but it’s fun too. There are three of us in the band and we all swap instruments a lot, it may look like we’re just making things complicated, but it’s the only way we can play the tunes.
What would you say is your process? Do you have a ritual of sorts?
My writing process at the moment is really simple. I do like writing in the evening, so a glass of wine is essential, of course! I normally start with a bass line and then my vocals and melodies, and just layer everything up around that. Keeping things as sparse as possible is important so the lyrics stand out. For me, that’s the most important thing.
Having been on tour supporting Local Natives, a local Los Angeles band, do you find a good connection between their fans and fans of your music?
Yeah. I mean we’re pretty different bands, but I think their fans cross over well. Local Natives are all about the songs, and so are we. We’re having a blast with them, they’re such lovely guys.
With your EP officially dropping in April and an ongoing tour before-hand, where do you think WALL will go from here? Is there a full length in the works?
I’m working on the full length at the moment, and when this tour is over I’ll be back to the studio to finish things off. But I’m not in any rush to release an album quite yet, when it’s ready it’s ready. After the EP drops there will be a summer single and hopefully some more touring in the autumn.
Being a fan of classic pop myself, any particular reason behind choosing to cover the Supremes “Where Did Our Love Go”? Should fans of that particular cover look forward to any more classics coming their way?
I love the Supremes, and that tune is my favourite. I didn’t set out to do loads of covers, but I really enjoyed re-working “Where Did Our Love Go” and giving it a different feel. I also did a Karen Dalton cover which I actually love performing live—it’s intense. Yes, I really want to do another cover soon, I’m just trying to decide which song to ruin next.
If you can, name your favorite musical inspiration, could be anything, band, record, parents, dog, food stand…you name it.
The 70s. With all the art around that time and all the change that was going on, it’s no wonder so many beautiful records came out of that decade. I only wish I’d been around then…. but hopefully by absorbing all the music I can re-live it somehow.
Do you plan on going to SXSW? If so, where can our readers check out your performances?
Yes we will be at SXSW! We’re playing six shows, some are day parties but our official showcases are:
3/14 – Latitude 30 – 8pm
3/16 – Central Presbyterian Church – 9pm
What’s something you are looking forward to doing while in LA?
I’m really hoping the weather will be good and we can hit the beach on our day off. That’s just not something we get to do in the UK very often. I guess we’ll need some tips!
You can catch WALL at the Bootleg Theatre on 3/8 with Joshua James, as well as 3/11 at The Echo with Harriet during their free March residency.