Sky Ferreira’s career up to this point has been exhausting, and she’s yet to even release an album. There have been countless album titles and release dates thrown around over the past 3 years, all of which have been “canceled” or “pushed back.” It seems as though Sky and/or her label have been keen on starting over as many times as they need to get it right (whether or not they’ve ever really agreed is an entirely different story.) The sentiment is one of hope and expectation, but it certainly doesn’t excuse the faux pas of completely removing almost all of her early material from iTunes, including her debut As If! EP and her “Obsession” single (luckily, her impeccable track “One” and its subsequent remixes have been left alone.) Last year, in another effort to hold us over while the album was in progress, Ferreira released the Ghost EP, led by the single “Everything Is Embarrassing,” revealing a completely new direction that prompted the shady erasing of her early work. The five track EP is flawless from start to finish and was Sky’s first major step in the right direction, despite there seemingly being no album on the horizon.
Now, as 2013 rounds the corner for its final lap, it seems that Ms. Ferreira has all of her ducks in a row, and an actual album is on the horizon (slated for release on October 29th.) Normally I would say, “don’t hold your breath,” but it actually feels like this time it’s for real. For one, we have a clear release date, but we also have a tracklist. The final clue that this is the real deal is the cancelation of the You’re Not The One EP, originally intended as yet another placeholder. Instead, the title song is now being released as the album’s lead single and the rest of the tracks are now featured on the main release. This HAS to be a good sign, right? Anyone who has been following Sky is used to announcements, cancelations, and random releases by this point, but these all seem to be for the right reason. Whether or not we’re going to be thrown another last-minute curveball is still anyone’s guess, but what we do have now is a new single, and we can at least feel good about that.
We may all just be cynical at this point, but “You’re Not The One” has quite a bit of expectation to live up to. Considering all of the great material she’s cast aside in favor of moving on to something “better,” you’d really have to think that this is going to blow us out of the water. Even for her biggest critics and cynics, it’s pretty difficult to rip apart the song. Is it particularly a step forward, though? Not really. If anything, “You’re Not The One” is simply just more focused. It has the same hazy, but beautiful atmosphere found in “Everything Is Embarrassing” while tapping in the electro rock that “Lost In My Bedroom” ventured into. Unlike the aforementioned tracks, though, it can stand alone to make sense, while the other two had to be collected together on an EP to paint the full vision. It becomes instantly clear that she was simply perfecting her ideas as opposed to finding new ones, which brings a bit of relief to the many fans who have practically given up on ever hearing an album from Sky. “You’re Not The One” is audibly the culmination of 3 years of unrelenting dissatisfaction, despite an undeniably awesome string of tunes.
The song itself, as a stand alone, is rather great. It actually feels like the first bite of something you’re going to want to keep going back for more of; each listen is more delicious than the one before. The production references everyone from David Bowie to Nine Inch Nails, but somehow molds around a pop melody that adamantly refuses any form of candy coating. Sky’s vocals are characteristically distant, but engaging, which pairs appropriately with the lyrics. Additionally, the chorus is simple and memorable, and the vision of a passionate festival crowd belting it out like a classic anthem is easy to conceive. This is one of those “cool” alternative pop songs that has every chance of being a mainstream hit, but isn’t shamelessly shooting for it. The only thing really holding “You’re Not The One” back is that it isn’t as momentous or unexpected as “Everything Is Embarrassing” was upon release, and I feel as though, if the songs were flip-flopped, the opinions of the songs would stay the same. Nonetheless, the song is a near-triumph that is excitingly actually leading an LP. It just goes to show that Sky Ferreira is one of the most exciting and unpredictable pop acts on the planet right now, and what she’s going to do next is always going to be anyone’s guess.