Lost Hit: Sky Ferreira’s “99 Tears” Was A Missed Opportunity
In this franchise, we highlight album tracks that should have been released as singles.
After dropping a handful of blog-conquering tracks, Sky Ferreira finally dropped her first EP in 2011. At the height of the electro-pop movement, As If! was a gift from the Pop Gods with its retro synths and ’80s Madonna vibe. It seemed destined to be the buzz artist’s commercial breakthrough, but the whole project was botched from a marketing perspective. The label’s chief mistake is not making “99 Tears” the single.
Starting with exploding shrieks, the track is an electro-pop masterpiece, featuring some of the most relatable lyrics ever. “You’re such a cry baby, cry baby, cry” was tailor-made to chant drunk at the club on a hot summer night after breaking up. The actual single, “Sex Rules,” and “99 Tears” follow the same laser-y, ’80s vibe formula, but “99 Tears” is far more infectious. In 2011, it gave any of the jams on Femme Fatale and Born This Way a run for their money.
“99 Tears” had the potential to realize the label’s ambition of turning Sky into an over-sexualized starlet with massive radio hits. But despite the song being a fan and critic favorite, it was never released and the EP failed to chart. Since then, the MIA singer has pretty much disavowed everything pre “Everything Is Embarrassing.” Sky never wanted to be the Lolita pop star singing “99 Tears” and “Obsession” to sold out arenas, so this glaring oversight is probably for the best. Revisit the song below.