Tuesday, 23 October 2012

DIGITAL WORDS / Sky Ferreira "Ghost EP" Review

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It feels like Sky Ferreira has been around for, like, ever. She was signed to Parlophone back in 2009 and yet a debut album is still to materialise. Instead, her career has been shaped by a series of fits and starts, haphazard singles, and modelling tangents. Despite initiating her career at the all-too-tender age of 15, Ferreira’s decision to wait out the hype that initially greeted her was the right thing to do. After all, her back story of MySpace discovery was starting to sound a little stale and outdated. But, just like MySpace, she’s poised for a relaunch.

A bubblegum, brace-face brat no more, Ghost feels like the first musical statement Sky Ferreira has made that actually makes an impact. It’s a big, bold and fitting leap from the disposable pop of her 2011 EP As If; one that displays serious intentions of development and a new level of maturity. Her voice is now endowed with a distinctive, weary rasp that is far removed from the generic sugary vocals of her previous singles ‘One’ and ‘Obsession’, but is not a million miles away from Lana Del Rey’s breathy, fragile tones. She’s given the chance to show off a wider variety of vocal stylings thanks to the EP’s all-encompassing approach to genre selection. It sees Ferreira delivering a hushed ballad (‘Sad Dream’) one minute, an electro bop (‘Lost in My Bedroom’) the next, and later on it carries on morphing with the moody country twang of ‘Ghost’ and the Shirley Manson-penned diet grunge of ‘Red Lips’.

With the comprehensive amount of ground covered on this short, five track EP, it’s unclear whether this is an eclectic or plain directionless collection. Ghost seems to be yet another showcase of what Ferreira is capable of, but lacks any commitment to a particular sound or direction. We can only hope that the direction she ultimately takes will be in the same vein as this EP’s standout moment; the minimal, neo pop of ‘Everything’s Embarrassing’ – a faultless single written by Devonté Hynes and produced by Ariel Rechtshaid, that is size perfect for Ferreira’s detached manner.

Will Sky Ferreira’s music ever matter more than her fashion credentials, her A-list links, or her hair? The jury’s still out on that one. At the tail end of Ghost it’s still not clear who Sky Ferreira is or what she does exactly, but we’re keen to keep on listening out for any further indications.

- Kate Allen


Written for NOTION

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