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. Opening with the alt-folk confessional of “Sad Dream”, Ferreira follows with a smÃ¶rgÃ¥sbord of styles taking in electro-pop, country torch song, grunge and urban crossover pop.
The record says a lot about Ferreira’s search, conscious or not, for an identity. She may be known as much for modelling as making music and that again might explain her chameleon approach to songcraft — but it’s not without its benefits. She delivers with panache, even in throwaway moments like on the electro-pop of “Lost in My Bedroom” where style rules substance, or on the 90’s grunge of “Red Lips”. The latter co-written with Shirley Manson of Garbage has Ferreira offering shades of Courtney Love and Manson herself.
Vocally she’s most compelling on the more intimate numbers like “Sad Dream” and the title track. Her sultry yet sweet tones sit closer to Lana Del Rey territory, itself a truer fit for Ferreira’s detached sensibilities. The end song, “Everything Is Embarrassing”, signals another potential direction. A tuneful piano ballad cleverly given a chilled, urban arrangement sees Ferreira mixing regret with a killer put-down: “Maybe if you let me be your lover/ Maybe if you tried then I would not bother.” Sky Ferreira could be the next big thing or just a kid trying to work out who she is and where she’s going. Either way, Ghost is an interesting ride.
Essential Tracks: “Everything Is Embarrassing”