Chicago – The debut studio album “Night Time, My Time” by 21 year old electro pop phenom Sky Ferreira is a record where hand claps, head bangs, tears, and smiles all share equal playing time. Right from the album cover of a naked Sky in the shower, wet, cold, and abandoned, we’re confronted with the vulnerability and self consciousness that is embraced throughout the album through various channels ranging from catchy retro pop, to bleak industrial angst.
She starts the album with “Boys”, a great example of her eclectic ear of musical influences. She chants, “Boys, they’re a dime a dozen, boys, they doing nothing for me any longer,” mockingly reminiscent of the old 60’s doo-wop classic, “Chapel of Love”, while soaked in a distorted collage of guitars and keyboards that would prompt devil horned hand thrusts in a live setting. Sky’s ability to blend catchy hooks with buzz saw guitars is what separates her from the stereotypical indie pop artists of late who cling to 80’s retro nostalgia while offering nothing else on the surface.
Vocally, Sky’s got pipes. She doesn’t show off her range until a couple of tracks into the album on “Nobody Asked Me (If I Was OK)”, only resorting to it when necessary rather than constantly shoving it down our throats. There are a lot of songs off “Night Time, My Time” that could easily get spins on the radio, but they’re so cloaked in lyrics of despair and depression that the catchy synth chords are often underlined with derision. She’s sort of a Katy Perry for the pink haired, nose ringed, jean jacketed punks who still want to dance.
The most impressive feat of “Night Time, My Time” is the sheer variety of the music. The shoegaze punk pop of “Kristine” comes after the arena sing-along aspirations of “Heavy Metal Heart”. “Love In Stereo” is a dreamy dance floor number that proceeds the hauntingly dark, Trent Reznor inspired, self titled closer “Night Time, My Time”. While the music and songs don’t sound consistent in tone or emotion, what’s stable are Sky’s lyrics of isolation and loathing, themes she seems to come to terms with and almost needs to comfort her.
Sky is clearly a person who listened to as much Alice Cooper and Nine Inch Nails as she did Prince and Madonna growing up. Moments like “Omanko”, (A naughty Japanese slang term for “vagina” that’s banned from Japanese media usage) where she blends extended Flanger guitar effect jams with Christmas sleigh bell sounding maracas, all over monotone ramblings of “Japanese Jesus” are examples of musical risks that few “pop” labeled artists would strive for. “Night Time, My Time” is an exciting debut for an artist who doesn’t sound pinned to a specific genre and appears to have aspirations of expanding not just in popularity, but in artistic exploration as well.