A lonely guitar strums Sky Ferreira into her sophomore EP, Ghost. This is quite the departure from her electronically charged Universal debut As If from 2011.
“Sad Dream,” like many of the tracks on this EP, is lyrically obscure but paints vivid imagery throughout its three and a half minutes. Channeling Goldfrapp, Ferreira moves into more familiar territory with “Lost in My Bedroom.” Erratic synths and a relentless bass thump make this an ideal choice for a future single. Her heavily processed vocals on the chorus give this pop gem an eerie characteristic to deviate from similar top 40 dance fluff. While “…Bedroom” is the link that, perhaps, bridges the gap between Ferreira’s releases, it’s a bit out of place in comparison to her indie inspired new sound.
Ferreira’s deep, husky vocals lazily try and keep up with the folky title track, “Ghost.” “I love you most, and now you’re a ghost I walk right through” Sky croons to her neglectful love. She sounds the most at home with this brooding ballad. Taking a page right out of 90’s grunge rock Garbage, Shirley Manson assists Ferreira sass her way through this head bobbing car jam, “Red Lips”. While I can appreciate her attempt, this falls short when standing next to the EPs other offerings.
We end on a big high note with “Everything is Embarrassing” which happens to be the lead single to this grab bag EP. “..Embarrassing” sounds like the distant cousin to Solange’s “Losing You” single which makes perfect sense as it was helmed by the same indie go to producer Dev Hynes (of Blood Orange). “Everything and nothing always haunts me” has Ferreira stepping back into her failing relationship one last time to try and salvage what is left of the love. She plays it very subtle with a simple piano melody and soft 808 back beat. Even if you don’t really understand exactly what Ferreira’s trying to say with her lyrics, her lush, earnest delivery convey a universal love story. Confusion never felt so great. In fact, the song was recently awarded “Song of the Year” at the 2012 Culture Awards by NYmag.com.
Coming off slightly bi-polar, this EP delivers a hodge-podge of what appears to pay homage to her inspirations. What’s obvious is that Ferreira has many influences and pulls off every sound she tries to emulate relatively well. Sky’s music continues to evolve lyrically into deeper subject matter but she can’t seem to make up her mind about which kind of artist she’d like to be. Perhaps she’s onto something. In the year 2012, do we necessarily need an artist to specify or commit to one single genre? It may help solidify a specific audience but one could argue this could alienate other potential fans as well if you have more to offer. Here’s hoping her wide array of sounds help catapult her into the success I believe she’s capable of rather than bewildering her fans into oblivion.
Grab Ghost and see what you think, out now on Capitol Records.
– Submitted by Tristan Bolden, Music Design