As If! (EP)

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As If!
Sky Ferreira - As If.png
EP by Sky Ferreira
Released March 22, 2011 (2011-03-22)
Recorded 2009–11
Genre
Length 16:49
Label Capitol
Producer
Sky Ferreira chronology
As If!
(2011)
Ghost
(2012)
Singles from As If!
  1. "Sex Rules"
    Released: March 1, 2011

As If! is the debut extended play (EP) by American singer and songwriter Sky Ferreira. It was released on March 22, 2011 by Capitol Records, in place of her frequently delayed debut studio album, which eventually became Night Time, My Time (2013). Its lead single "Sex Rules" was released on March 1, 2011.[1]

Background[edit]

Ferreira, who had been in contact with music from an early age, started recording professionally when she was 14. This move was done by Ferreira after going to a Daft Punk concert, which she credited with having "changed [her] life"; she also started going to nightclubs and listening to dance music. From there on, Ferreira began making several demos with friends on audio-specializing program GarageBand, and uploading them onto her Myspace account.[2][3]

Ferreira also featured a remix of the song "Teen Lovers" by American band The Virgins, produced by The Shoes and gained attention online peaking atop The Hype Machine chart. After the production duo Bloodshy & Avant noticed them, Ferreira was introduced to several "major" record labels which became interested in signing her, as well as producers who wanted to work with her. That interest led to a bidding war between several labels, who according to Ferreira, viewed her as a "way of making money".[4][2]

Due to promises that she would have "creative freedom" and control, Ferreira ultimately opted for EMI. Six months after, she realized that those claims were false, as the executives at the label largely controlled her creative decisions. While recording, Ferreira started working with independent producers, such as Paul Epworth, however the label suggested collaborations with more known musicians—for example, Dr. Luke—as part of a process which was described as "mould[ing]" Ferreira "into the perfect little pop robot".[4]

Release and promotion[edit]

Ferreira released two songs in 2010, titled "17" and "One".[5] While the former did not chart, the latter managed to peak at number 64 on the UK Singles Chart.[6] "Obsession" was announced as the lead single from her planned debut, and scheduled for US radio release in September of that year. Simultaneously, the album was announced for a January 11, 2011 release. "Obsession", however, was not able to enter any record chart with the exception of the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs.[7][8] After EMI lost money on promoting Ferreira, the label reduced her budget "dramatically", ultimately leading to the cancellation of the album.[9][10]

However, the album was postponed and As If! was announced for release on March 22, 2011 by Capitol Records.[11][12] Prior to the extended play's release, "Sex Rules" was issued as a promotional single on March 1, 2011.[13] Ferreira and "Sex Rules" were concurrently featured in the advertisement campaign for Calvin Klein's CK One brand.[12][14]

Composition[edit]

Unlike Ferreira's later work, her first EP was heavily pop-centric, relying mostly on synthesizers and electronic drums, with no acoustic instruments. On the opening track "Sex Rules", Ferreira sings over a 1980s pop-style beat about sexual liberation, instructing the listener to "Use your god-given tools". "Traces" is a slower ballad produced by Colin Monroe and co-written by English artist Neon Hitch. It contains a dark piano melody, with subtle strings hidden behind robotic dubstep whines and beats. "Haters Anonymous" is an abstract electronic thumper where Ferreira reads the lyrics in a low droning voice, speaking about media backlash and the hypocrisy of her critics. "99 Tears" contains a screaming Siouxsie and the Banshees sample at the intro, followed by more 1980s electropop. Lyrically the song is about revenge on an ex-lover. The closing track "108" tells an abstract tale of a deranged girl in love with an immortal being. The lyrics are stuttered and chanted over melancholic electronic-pop, with Bloodshy & Avant's signature piano arpeggio's and vintage theremin samples.[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[15]
MuuMuse 5/5 stars[16]
The New York Times 3.5/5 stars[17]
MVRemix Negative[18]

Upon release, As If! received polarizing responses from music journalists. Caryn Ganz of Rolling Stone provided a positive review for the extended play, awarding it a rating of three and a half stars out of five. Ganz described it as "incredibly fun" and while expounding on Ferreira's Internet hype, she stated that the record proved that "the heat isn't just hot air".[15] MuuMuse's Bradley Stern echoed praise for the disc, deeming it a "rock solid" "perfect pop production" and favoring Ferreira's musicality and personality.[16] Writing for The New York Times, Jon Caramanica typed a more mixed critique—while he highlighted As If!'s "inevitability" and its production, he criticized Ferreira's "dry" "delivery" and the songs' lyricism.[17] On a negative side, Caile Michelle from MVRemix characterized the extended play as "another pretty-faced pop product" and a "self-indulgent, juvenile vanity trash that has inexplicably gotten confused as music".[18]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of As If!.[19]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Sex Rules" Kurstin 2:46
2. "Traces"
  • Munroe
  • Cory Nitta
3:34
3. "Haters Anonymous"
  • Bloodshy & Avant
  • Lidehäll
3:48
4. "99 Tears"
Kurstin 3:28
5. "108"
  • Ferreira
  • Karlsson
  • Winnberg
  • Åhlund
  • Bloodshy & Avant
  • Lidehäll
3:17

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Canada March 22, 2011 Digital download Capitol [20]
United States [21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steinberg, Billy (March 2011). "Sky Ferreira Releases "Sex Rules" as Debut Single off of Upcoming EP, 'As If!'". MuuMuse. Retrieved April 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Brill, Jen (March 21, 2011). "Sky Ferreira: The Mane Attraction". Interview. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ Nika, Colleen (August 13, 2011). "Sky Ferreira: Meet the CK One Vixen Out To Save Pop". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Levine, Nick (May 25, 2013). "Notion 063 Feature: Cover Star Sky Ferreira". Notion. Attic London. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  5. ^ Cragg, Michael (April 5, 2013). "Sky Ferreira and the dark side of the music biz". The Guardian. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Sky Ferreira". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 16, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Sky Ferreira: Debut Album due 1/11/11". MVRemix. September 16, 2010. Retrieved March 8, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Sky Ferreira Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 10, 2014. 
  9. ^ Battan, Carrie (October 31, 2012). "A Small Pop". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 16, 2016. 
  10. ^ Abebe, Nitsuh (October 27, 2013). "Sky Ferreira Will Be a Pop Star on Her Own Terms – Or Not At All". Vulture. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  11. ^ Daw, Robbie (March 1, 2011). "Sky Ferreira 'As If!' EP Cover Revealed". Idolator. SpinMedia. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Bain, Becky (March 7, 2011). "Sky Ferreira Complains About Complainers In New Track "Haters Anonymous"". Idolator. SpinMedia. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Sex Rules (2011)". 7digital (US). March 1, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  14. ^ Hartman, Darrell (March 28, 2011). "Sky's the Limit". Style.com. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Ganz, Caryn (April 25, 2011). "Sky Ferreira – As If!". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Stern, Bradley (March 2011). "Sky Ferreira: As If! EP (Album Review)". MuuMuse. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon (March 11, 2011). "Tumblr Soul, Rocker Country, Teenage Tartness". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b Michelle, Caile (March 2011). "Sky Ferreira – As If! EP". MVRemix. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  19. ^ As If (Media notes). Sky Ferreira. Capitol Records. 2011. 
  20. ^ "As If! (2011)". 7digital (CA). Archived from the original on November 7, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2014. 
  21. ^ "As If! (2011)". 7digital (US). Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2014.