Live Review: Sky Ferreira at Pitchfork Paris 2013
I wrote this review and it got cut so here it is on me blog instead. Everyone wins. My full Pitchfork Paris review is up on the Guardian.Sky Ferreira: Live
Pitchfork Festival, Paris
It feels unjust to knock Sky Ferreira when she’s only just found her feet. The 21-year-old spent most of her teens being chewed up by the industry that endlessly tried to mould her sound and image. Now she’s been spat out the other end, she’s become a promising talent on her own terms – a star with style, scandal (a topless album cover, a recent drugs bust) and, crucially, a seductive but spiky pop sound.
As the singer takes the stage of Pitchfork Paris in a black wig, shades and with her hood up, it’s clear she isn’t going to be that star this evening. Perhaps it’s because the crowd are heckling her (mainly to tell her to take off the silly wig). Or maybe it has something to do with the photo she posted of her wearing an oxygen mask on Instagram a day earlier, but her listless, sullen performance is at odds with the stadium-sized power-pop of her superb new album, ‘Night Time, My Time’ (sadly, still without a UK release date).
The dreamily detached vocals of songs like ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’ are part of Sky’s charm, but her voice only really comes to life during her album’s attitudinal numbers. ‘Boys’ is a sparkling electro-rock love song that’s like Madonna, Courtney Love and Best Coast all at once, even though Sky acts like she’s trying to hide behind the mic stand instead of, say, smiling. Recent US single ‘24 Hours’ (see video above), meanwhile, is another massive track, as if Katy Perry's take on 'Pretty In Pink'-era prom-pop, but without any of Perry's frothy fun or her ability to hold a tune.
As Sky finally whips off the wig for ‘You’re Not The One’, there’s faint hope that this sullen show was all just a ruse and she’ll suddenly spring to life with a running knee skid. But that must be a move for another day.