Sky Ferreira

Night Time, My Time

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When Sky Ferreira's debut album, Night Time, My Time, finally arrived in October 2013 after a slew of EPs and delayed release dates, it confirmed her status as pop music's dark horse. Financed by Ferreira with money she earned from modeling gigs, it's a truly independent album from an outspoken artist; the scornful hooks on "Ain't Your Right" feel like they're aimed at everyone who got between her and her dream. While Night Time, My Time's most outrageous touches -- the equally alluring and disturbing nude album cover shot by controversial film director Gaspar Noé, the Suicide-goes-Top 40 track "Omanko," named after the Japanese slang for a woman's genitals -- are designed to raise eyebrows, the most shocking thing about the album might be how consistently good it is. Working with producers Justin Raisen and Ariel Rechtshaid, Ferreira balances her pop and indie leanings in surprising, creative, and always catchy ways. On the opening track "Boys" alone, she combines shades of girl group romanticism, grunge disillusionment, and synth pop cool into a sound that's resolutely hers. Just how much range she shows on Night Time, My Time is impressive. "24 Hours" and "I Blame Myself" are built on classic pop structures (even if Ferreira sings about "the hounds of hell" on the latter track); later, she flirts with new wave on "Love in Stereo" and makes the mix of hard-hitting beats and big guitars on "I Will" sound perfectly natural. She blends seemingly contradictory emotions just as effortlessly on songs such as "Nobody Asked Me (If I Was OK)" and "You're Not the One," where she sounds pissed-off, world-weary, and ecstatic at the same time. However, the album's biggest shock -- and one of its biggest successes -- comes at its end: Driven by simmering strings and industrial drums, the album's hallucinatory title track shows that Ferreira can match Cat Power or Charlotte Gainsbourg when it comes to dead-of-the-night drama. Night Time, My Time is a stunning introduction to an artist who excels at blurring and breaking boundaries to be true to herself and her music.

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