Few young pop stars seem as prime for a mainstream breakout as 18-year-old Sky Ferreira, whose edgy dance-pop songs “17” and “99 Tears” have showed unexpected personality for an artist of her age. With her EP As If! released earlier last month, Ferreira has been releasing lyric videos for several of the songs—most recently “Traces,” a heartbreak ballad that lacks the energy of her best songs, but still shares the same sort of attitude that separates her from her bubblegummier peers.
Over dramatic violins and piano that would do Christina Perri proud, Sky sings a typical tale of love betrayed (“I knew I should have read all the warning signs / But I fell for your all your white lies again”), and makes the firm decision to wash that man right out of her hair by the time of the chorus (“I’m getting rid of the traces of you.”) The entire song teeters on the edge of overwrought, but gets by on the little things, like the cool way the repeated “traces of” line in the chorus is cut-and-pasted together from two different vocal samples, or the subtle synth warbles used to approximate the sound of a fluttering heart on the second verse. Sky also helps herself out by making the smart decision to avoid wallowing in self-pity or hatching elaborate revenge schemes in the song’s lyrics, instead just cutting her dude off, simple and clean. (All teenagers should be so practical.)