Our previous familiarity with twenty-year-old Sky Ferreira was via her 2010 single “One”, a infectious burst of stuttery electro-pop bubblegum that deserved to be a bigger mainstream hit than it ultimately was (it peaked at #64 on the UK singles chart). Fast-forward a couple years later, and the L.A.-born star-in-waiting is still pushing out under-the-radar winners though of a dramatically different sound.
Following “Red Lips”, a Shirley Manson-assisted grunge-pop excursion that made a better argument for a Garbage comeback than the actual comeback set Garbage released this year, new track “Everything Is Embarrassing” finds Sky making another tremendous stylistic shift.
Produced by Ariel Rechtshaid (Usher, Justin Bieber, Cass McCombs, Theophilus London) and Dev Hynes, the Blood Orange/ Lightspeed Champion multi-talent whose recent output has been smothered in late 80′s nostalgia, “Embarrassing”, with it’s dry drum snap, trickles and washes of synths and heavy fog of reverb, sounds like something scooped up off the editing room floor of a Lisa Lisa or Control-era Janet Jackson studio session, and it’s a testament to the chameleonic prowess of Ferreira that this four-minute trip in the wayback machine be a sound she, once again, effortlessly folds inside.
Moping over a failed relationship that’s left her “hating everything, everything that could’ve been”, Sky’s vocals, blurried enough here so that they add another ghostly layer to the song’s thick retro haze, strike a perfect balance of devastation, confusion and vulnerability, key components of any young adult/ “My First Heartache” breakdown.