18.52 min • Capitol • October 16, 2012
Last year, Sky Ferreira revealed that she intends on dipping her toes into new waters and break from the music she made as a teen for her debut EP. This EP makes this departure clear. Working with five different producers and writers on each of the five songs makes them sound diverse and unlike one another.
Opening on the stripped back folk of ‘Sad Dream’, she sounds unrecognisable to her previous singles such as ‘One’ and ‘17’. From there, the sultry Shirley Manson-penned number ‘Red Lips’ is as enticing and embracing as the work of the Garbage frontwoman. In fact, lyrically it could be interpreted 2012’s stab at the ‘Stupid Girl’ renowned from the ’90s. Those who enjoyed Sky Ferreira’s previous singles will no doubt love ‘Lost In My Bedroom’ as it is filled with the fizzy electropop that launched her and a big chorus to boot. Where she really shines is on the title track which strips everything back to guitar, drum and voice. Her anguished lyrics are captivating and engaging over sleepy blues (“I’m not irrational, I’m just no longer in a daydream”). Its less-is-more approach sounds refreshingly beautiful compared to studio wizardry and polished effects dominating pop music today.
Ghost may be the most appropriate title for this collection of songs. Ferreira refrains from anchoring the record with her own personality; instead she lingers behind the strength of the songs suggesting she may be uncertain of her own musical identity. This observation may be perfectly justified; she is just 20 years old and is likely only coming into her own, both personally and professionally. Instead of being shunned for trying different styles on this release, it should be commended. It shows that she is not afraid and to feel around numerous styles and genres to find ones that she is comfortable with and interested in exploring. David Bowie and Kate Bush certainly didn’t sustain their long careers from sitting on their hands in a studio, afraid of trying new sounds.
Even though this EP falls a little short of character, it is a solid effort from a musician taking a risk to experiment with various genres and production styles. The five different styles of Ghost is a brave move but probably one that needs to be taken to come into her own. Hopefully her debut album will showcase her personality, as she seems to have the nerve and talent to set herself apart from the rest of the pack.