Listen: Sky Ferreira Needs to Be a Pop Superstar

Sky Ferreira is sad, but she’s happy about it

Enough fooling, you guys. It’s time for Sky Ferreira to be a pop superstar.

Well… okay. I don’t know if her music is quite mainstream enough—even in this world of Gotye and Ellie Goulding—to make her the go-to diva for Super Bowl 2014. But still. Her e.p. Ghost, which came out late last year, is filled with dreamy, 80s-alternative pop songs that would be a great fit for those times when you need to listen to something catchy and substantial.

Do you know the band Dirty Projectors? And their song “Stillness is the Move,” which has this incredible hook but is still laid-back and fuzzy-sounding enough to seem cool? Ferreira’s music is like that. It gives off this vibe that says, “Yes, we’re having a good time, but I’m not going to make everything so loud and studio-perfect that you’ll feel like I’m begging you to love me.”

This could be why music critics have lost their minds about her single “Everything is Embarrassing.” It’s the power ballad for people who get turned off by the slickness of power ballads. But good on the critics for being excited, because it’s their end-of-the-year write-ups that made me discover Ferreira’s music in the first place. Try as I might, I can’t hear everything, so it’s always nice to get tipped off.

I’m in the process of exploring Ferreira’s catalog, and I’m looking forward to the release of her first full-length album later the year. For now, though, these are the songs I’m enjoying the most…

(1) “Lost in My Bedroom”

Lyrically, “Lost In My Bedroom” is a pretty simple song about being totally lost in the perfect moment with s perfect lover, but sonically, it’s a very rich stew, with chimes and vocals and drum tracks that build and build and build over a pleasant, mid-temp synth line. And the video just came out yesterday, so now we can all feel very hip.

(2) “Everything Is Embarrassing”

The aforementioned power ballad-ish song, which I swear to GOD sounds like a lost Madonna hit from 1983. “Everything is Embarrassing” has a great melody and an especially great chorus, but more than that, it has the rambling structure and low-fi sound of those anthems that came right after disco. At that time, there were a lot of sad-but-dancy songs that sounded a little messy. A song like that—and a song like “Everything Is Embarrassing”—lets you move your feet but stay internal. It lets you mope and sigh, but it lets you sing along. And if the production and the vocals don’t always sound perfect… well… neither does love. I guess you could call this authenticity? Yes. Let’s go with that.

Mark Blankenship has never gotten lost in his bedroom, but he does sleep in a pretty large bed, so it could happen. He tweets as @IAmBlankenship.