Following a collection of self-released internet mixtapes and albums as Saint Pepsi that garnered a cult internet following amongst the vaporwave community, Ryan DeRobertis signed to Carpark Records and changed the project’s name to Skylar Spence, cementing the legitimacy of his young recording career. For his Carpark Records debut in August 2014, Skylar Spence took a step away from the more genre-shuffling styles of his Internet releases to focus his skills on high-power pop. The title track of the “Fiona Coyne” 7-inch is an uplifting tribute to fantastical romance and the joyous dreams pop culture can provide. Mastermind Ryan DeRobertis lays down a funky guitar riff and bass line of Chic-quality to tease our senses before tickling us silly with the chorus’ ecstatic horns. “My love’s on the silver screen/ she’s always playing make believe,” sings the then 21-year-old songwriter, playing a bit of make-believe himself. The song, named after a certain graduate of Degrassi Community School, acts out the fantasy of dating a TV star and plays with the idea that music can be something of a catalyst for romance.
The b-side, “Fall Harder,” is a lovelorn hit about a somewhat unattainable beauty. “You’ve got me under your spell/ and baby, I couldn’t fall harder,” DeRobertis sings over an Orange Juice-worthy riff and electronic subtleties like the sound of a Galaga battle. For this 7-inch, DeRobertis wrote danceable love songs with a nostalgic aesthetic to the production “because I think nostalgia is inherently narcissistic and I’m currently very into the idea of exploring the connection between nostalgia and narcissism,” he says.
These two singles would later appear on his debut album, Prom King, which was met with widespread critical acclaim. The buzz led to international touring, transforming Skylar Spence from a home-recording project to a four-piece live band, sharing stages with Madeon, The Knocks, and several festival appearances. Long out-of-print, “Fiona Coyne/Fall Harder” is finally available again on blue vinyl.