Album Review: Insects and Apples by Lyla Foy

Insects and Apples sits firmly on the pop side of folk-pop and nods, constantly and rather emphatically, at Kate Nash throughout its 11 tracks.  It’s a fantastically varied album – Foy’s style takes in music boxes, harmonicas and the crack of biting an apple in its instrumental repertoire, occasionally creeping over to the wrong side of perky.  The opening track, ‘Fly on the Wall’, is screaming out to be a sitcom theme tune and ts Kafka-gone-wrong chorus, in which she sings about being a frustrated fly/bee, is so insanely catchy it’s actually quite frightening, particularly when combined with the insane circus-act refrain.  Coulrophobics beware. 
Foy’s real strength is in the more quirky and gently political of her songs.  ‘Particular’ is highly engaging – a witty number about a seductress who turns out to be highly neurotic, wanting to bring men home but unable to bear the mess they make when she does.  She desperately explains that she’s “extremely particular about my interior. / I get a little funny in my tummy / And I know I’m a nightmare to deal with.”  Poor lass.  ‘What You Got’ is a straightforward observation on the empty pursuits of consumer society, which concludes “Don’t push your luck / Just be happy with what you’ve got”.  Sensible, but hardly revolutionary.
I can’t end without mentioning ‘Apple’, which is just so delightfully oddball.  It’s pure fantastical baloney, imagining life as a variety of strudel ingredients in the hope of escaping the doldrums of life as a Londoner.  Its chorus is sung, apparently, by a choir of apple pips.  Genius.  
Words: Helen True