Release Date: Oct 16, 2012
Record label: Capitol
Sky Ferreira's rise has been just short of meteoric: She teamed up with Miike Snow's Bloodshy & Avant after their brief window of crossover fame at the age of 15 and commissioned a track or so each from professionals like Swedish indie popper Marit Bergman and serial songwriter Ryan Tedder. There was some music shelved and some routine image trouble, but she scrabbled her way back to square two with the help of more professionals: Dev Hynes of Blood Orange and Shirley Manson of recently revived Garbage. Now her protostar is brighter than ever and she's earned one of the biggest cult hits of the year.
Although Sky Ferreira has only released two EPs so far, she seems to be undergoing an identity crisis. Her first release, last year’s As If!, was chockfull of club-bangers and electropop. The songs on her latest release, Ghost, are far more varied and altogether show a significant improvement. The issue comes with the amount of variety found here.
Former Michael Jackson confidante and teeny popper Sky Ferreira first showed star potential in 2010 with the slick synth-pop single One before seemingly succumbing to major-label meddling a year later with the wannabe hockey anthem Obsession. Despite her Lolita image and modelesque looks, the 20-year-old has always seemed too grungy to pull off the bad-girl pop star archetype. Fortunately, her Ghost EP suggests a much broader range of intriguing possibilities - big shiny pop included - for her dusky voice.
Will the real Sky Ferreira step forward. The precocious 20-year old has been making music since her teens, with some early mentoring by Michael Jackson no less. Her second EP, Ghost, is a five-track offering drawing on a plethora of producers and collaborators, and defying any rational attempt to categorise her work. Rather it continues the scattergun approach to recording, evidenced in her singles, music videos, and debut EP over the past two years.
I could take the easy route — adhere to the standard masculine mode of criticism, of music in general, but more specifically, of female artists — and describe Sky Ferreira as a product of influences and partnerships, explain how she matches up with them and why she often falls short of their marks, as if she herself plays a supporting role in the work that bears her name; in fact, I will do this, in brief. Call it a venting, a purge. There’s an inevitability to this sort of comparison.
JASON ALDEAN “Night Train” (Broken Bow) The country singer Jason Aldean represents the rural middle of the United States as if he’s rarely been anywhere else. The songs on his fifth album, “Night Train,” maintain a consistent attitude about that generalized regional identity — not defensive, but comfortably smug. Enshrining small-town life can give you an obsession with scale: the more meager the town, the more lordly the dreams.