Reviewed on Tuesday March 18 (photo by Ashley Mar)
If you’ve never heard of Sky Ferreira, you’re obviously not as much of a cyberstalker as the 500-ish megafans who turned out to see the internet’s favourite alt-pop sensation take the stage at Oxford Art Factory.
The ultimate musical pixie dream girl has amassed a cult following online since making tunes as a teenager in the MySpace age. These days, she’s touring with Miley Cyrus and fronting ad campaigns for major brands, yet is somehow still relatively unknown in the mainstream. It’s only a matter of time, right?
Anticipation was in the air as local DJ LUEN warmed up the waiting crowd with a soulful mix of hip hop classics and fresh R&B beats.
Shyly stepping onto the stage, our main act arrived in a baggy jumper and a pair of sunglasses, which she explained were to help her cope with “stage fright”. With a bizarre sense of sympathy, it’s hard not to immediately feel for a girl standing before us with absolutely no pretense or bravado.
Despite her sheepish persona, Ferreira is no shrinking violet. The tight band, including a borrowed drummer from Melbourne, launched into a strong set of tracks from her critically acclaimed debut album Night Time, My Time.
With adorably childish lines like, “Cross my heart and hope to die / Stick a needle in my eye,” delivered with a distinct punk rock attitude, we’re reminded that Ferreira is just a 21-year-old girl singing honestly and openly about boys and life… and boys. Her ingenuity is as endearing and infectious as her music; heart-warming pop with a gritty, raw edge.
Having circumnavigated the globe over the last few weeks, she admitted that she’d had a rough trot. Falling off the stage in California and gashing her leg open, losing her voice in London and being overwhelmed by homesickness is just a month in the life of this unassuming rock star. 60 stitches, two sleepless weeks and thousands of kilometres later, here she was in Australia, mocking herself by joke-complaining that “life is hard” and dropping Chris Lilley sound bites to an audience that “finally gets it”.
Forging on despite extreme exhaustion and a weary voice (“It’s sore, but it’s alright”), she powered through meaty tracks like ‘I Blame Myself’ and ‘Heavy Metal Heart’. She finished off the low-key night with Dev Hynes collab ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’, before profusely thanking her Australian fans and disappearing into the magical pixie dreamland from which she came.