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Sky Ferreira’s Love Triangle Anthem ‘You’re Not the One’ Transcends Pouty Video

Sky Ferreira, "You're Not the One," video, 'Night Time, My Time,' Grant Singer

The idea of “the One” can be as treacherous in pop music as in romance. Spend all your time mooning over someone you can never have, and you’ll miss out on opportunities to meet the person who’s actually the one. Worry too much about replicating that one career-vaulting sleeper hit — in Sky Ferreira’s case, that’s “Everything Is Embarrassing,” one of SPIN’s 40 Best Songs of 2012 — and you risk not having another, um, one.

Ferreira neatly avoids that problem on “You’re Not the One,” a glossy, lovelorn ’80s pop update that broods in the key of Charli XCX’s True Romance. The track once again expands the singer’s palette after the moody variety of last year’s Ghost EP and the bubblegum that characterized her first, teenage brush with major-label machinery. Ferreira has included the song in recent live sets, and sure, it’s no “Everything Is Embarrassing,” but it’s impressively catchy and emotionally communicative in its own right — the type of track that might inspire a label to green-light, finally, her debut album, Night Time, My Time (due out October 29 via Capitol). The title phrase, launched forth between Top Gun guitar flares and an easygoing bass lope, is delivered with a lilt that almost, to these ears, echoes Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” (See also: Charli XCX’s “You’re the One,” Rihanna’s “You Da One.”) The love interest in the song isn’t single; if the single isn’t Night Time‘s best song, well, that would be fun, wouldn’t it?

“You’re Not the One” is out today on ITunes. The video, like the “Everything Is Embarrasing” clip, is directed by Grant Singer, and once again, it’s a bit too focused on Ferreira’s model pouts to complement the song effectively. A bar scene with leather jackets, blood, and a guy who isn’t the one leads to an unexpected conclusion.

Video aside, the track’s arrival marks a welcome refocusing on music from an artist who was in the headlines recently for other reasons. Ferreira and DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith were arrested and charged with drug-related offenses earlier this month in Saugerties, New York; Smith has maintained that Ferreira did nothing wrong. Both Ferreira and DIIV rebounded from the incident with a rough-shod cover of Cat Power’s “Nude as the News.” She’s currently on tour with Vampire Weekend and will soon join Smith Westerns on the road. Find details below.

Sky Ferreira tour dates:

September 24 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant +
September 25 – Fayetteville, AR @ Arkansas Music Pavilion +
September 27 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre +
September 30 – San Diego, CA @ Open Air Theatre +
October 1 – Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre +
October 2 – Albuquerque, NM @ Kiva Auditorium +
October 5 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom +
October 7 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium +
October 8 – Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theatre +
October 10 – Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre +
October 27 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
November 2 – Paris, France @ Pitchfork Music Festival Paris
November 11 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall *
November 13 – Boston, MA @ The Paradise *
November 14 – Syracuse, NY @ Westcott Theatre *
November 15 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Church *
November 18 – Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club *
November 20 – Detroit, MI @ The Magic Stick *
November 21 – Columbus, OH @ A&R *
November 22 – Madison, WI @ High Noon *
November 23 – Chicago, IL @ The Vic *

+ = with Vampire Weekend
* = with Smith Westerns