After a nearly six-year hiatus, Sky Ferreira has returned with the new single “Downhill Lullaby” from a forthcoming untitled studio album. This time, she has forsaken her typical synthy production and uptempo rhythm in favor of haunting strings and a dark, rolling bass line. It is a downbeat and atmospheric track that toes the line between being a slow burner and being a dirge, almost redolent of Lana Del Rey ― a far cry from the grungy electropop of Night Time, My Time. The highlight of the song is the surreal, swelling string arrangement, performed by Danish violinist Nils Gröndahl.
The song was co-produced by the “Twin Peaks” music supervisor Dean Hurley, which is fitting given its Lynchian, “out-of-time” feeling and foreboding tone (Ferreira cameoed in “Twin Peaks: The Return” a year ago). It is not a pop song ― it’s not exactly hummable, and it’s certainly not catchy. It feels as though it would be best listened to late at night at a point in your life when everything feels wrong.
It is pleasant as a one-off, but an album full of “Downhill Lullaby”-style tracks would quickly turn into a slog. Luckily, Ferreira has stated that the rest of her upcoming project will be more poppy ― but it remains to be seen whether it will be as bold.