Night Time, My Time

A Sky Ferreira Retrospective

In the late 2000s and early 2010s, social media was just getting its legs. From the pastel-tinted hair, flower crowns, cigarette packages, and tennis skirts of Tumblr photographs to the messy afterparty bathrooms, designer bags, liquor bottles and music festivals of Instagram photographs, Sky Ferreira was everywhere – and every hip brand wanted to partner with her, just as every young woman wanted to be her.

As a teenager signed to Parlophone Records, Ferreira put out several heavily produced, glossy, electropop songs in line with the pop music that charted at the time, and performed the persona of a bombshell blonde, mature enough to be a sexual object, but whose only ills were boy problems. After years of conflicts with her label, who didn’t think that Sky knew what her young female audience would respond to nor that she would see any success if she veered into an edgier sound and subject matter, Night Time, My Time was released with Capitol Records in 2013 – laying the underground precedent for nostalgic and moody alternative-pop in the years that would follow.

A vampiric ruby-crimson composition of classical grunge added to luminescent silver-crescent electro-pop is our overture: "Boys" luxuriates in tart strawberry jam-coated electric guitars and lace-covered titanium effects, shimmering in pink buttercream frosting- and cyanide-coated vocals. "Ain't Your Right" seeps into the velvet orchid pop borne from the 1980s' last half, rising a saltwater-clogged and seashell-encrusted vocal terrain, percussion-like gooey, ebony blackberry jam, synths of contrasted white chocolate's sugary stickiness covering one's lips, and the softness of petals embedded in melted quartz.

"I Will," a clandestine promise to wreck the teeny-bop popstar her label tried to sculpt her into, sharpens the reins of Sky's chest voice's siren call, pearly as a water lily. This, upon a blueberry pie of sapphire berries, so ripe they mimic the morning's earliest hours, punctured by snow-encrusted maple leaves. On "Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Okay)," punch-drunk off vanilla whiskey and rage, Ferreira's nymph voice - as deep as midnight, and as ethereal as wisps - howls to paper-cut gifting grunge guitars, javelined cinnamon heart-percussion, and fudgy thrashes of a moth's waxy wings. "24 Hours" follows the twisting-vine pathways of a sea-glass butterfly's flutter: heavenly curling stalactite rhythms, synths of gilded pearly rocaille fragments, and drums in fragile coral fingers winking in the water, in the giddy and curious aura of a parchment love letter rolling in a glass bottle.

"You're Not The One" is dusted in cotton candy-pink eyeshadow and turns the hidden key in the heart-shaped lock of a childhood jewelry box, running a pinkie along lace ribbons and a creamy pearl necklace - all in a blushing state, hand-in-hand with confetti sprinkles, lavender-pearl 808s, and bottled lightning. "Kristine" is a wild child's firing of a sleeve of poison arrows: digital cross necklaces clanging and rhinestone cowboy's shooting of spurs against the wall, bronzed-pecan 808s in a caramel-like gold-nugget, brown sugar vodka vocals on baby pink tongues; burning sage, and transcribing its ashes and whispered promises into a diary. "Love In Stereo" returns to what inspired Ferreira to create her own nouveau pop: pounding of, and an Aurae's kiss upon, dove wings, melting iron snowflake drums, and bright-eyed electric guitars wishing to tie together black cherry stems - a candied rhythm, seeking to map the constellations.

Sky tosses full moon-blessed salt over her shoulder on "I Blame Myself," and stabs a knife in strawberry bubble-gum pop, pouring in hand-picked poison ivy stalks. Poison ivy stalks of the petal vocals of a singed rose, and 90s belladonna riffs played on guitars frosting-covered and torched in a house fire. Digging her claws deeper, "Omanko" is cherry blossoms frosted in molten titanium and thrown into fractals, then held up as a dagger. Its heart is a sugared black cherry, but Shinigami knives tear apart an electro-pop structure as Ferreira climbs to find God by inking free-verse cursive on these four walls - these powers, biting each other's heels. Like its namesake, "Heavy Metal Heart" is an anatomical heart sculpted in air-dry clay, ripe in arteries and veins, cased in molten onyx and coated in candy apple glaze. Wrapping velvety ribbons, dueling cherry shortcake Stratocasters, and moth wings' satiny bass pulses, compose its hearty backbone.

Night Time, My Time's finale is eerily luxuriant - a globe of what Sky had faced by the time this album was created. Against a smoky, desolate backdrop, the once cotton candy-sweet, french vanilla-creme princess, Sky Ferreira clutches a chainsaw - Acheron's cymbals rise and crash, whispering keys beg, and the singer-songwriter's guitar and voice growl, from the beast's belly. Yet, there is a promise and a reawakening even in the darkest of Night Time, My Time songs that make Sky Ferreira's debut the periapt for breaking springtime.