The thread holding Sky Ferreira's five-song EP Ghost together is her voice. There's nothing especially stunning about it, but it's intensely captivating.
Maybe that's why she led with “Sad Dream,” in which she slides effortlessly from sturdy lows to breathy highs. The song is a lovely showcase for her singing, with gentle backing from the guitar and backup vocals only at just the right moments.
Then, genre whiplash. “Lost In My Bedroom” piles so many influences into one song that the title feels literal, like an hour of Ferreira listening to records in her room condensed in three minutes. It's a pop melody, plus fuzzy EDM bass, plus twinkling and bleeping ‘80s electronics, plus touches of screeching metal guitar.
The guitars on the title track have some of the twang of a country ballad, and in fact, the tone of the song is solidly country-woe -- except that Ferreira doesn't go there with her voice. It's a sign that even though she's working off varying influences on the EP, she's not mimicking. She's trying to make it her own. Switching gears again, “Red Lips” charges into surly rock territory and her voice takes on a ballsy near-monotone as she calls someone out: “You number is up if you like it or not / Take a walk.”
Ghost closes on the single “Everything Is Embarrassing.” If the name doesn't have you nodding your head in agreement, there's going to be at least one line in here that does if you've ever given up on an “it's complicated” relationship with eye roll and a sigh.
It's very ADD listening, but Ferreira knows what she likes, knows what she can do, and brings it all together quite well. The question is which direction she'll take for the first LP, and whether she even needs to pick one.