The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Review | Sky Ferraria’s ‘Night Time, My Time’ continues to impress 10 years later

Cover+art+of+Sky+Ferreiras+Night+Time%2C+My+Time+released+in+Oct.+2013.
Photo courtesy of Genius
Cover art of Sky Ferreira’s “Night Time, My Time” released in Oct. 2013.

It’s been 10 years since the release of Sky Ferreira’s stunningly defiant debut album, “Night Time, My Time,” an artful and messy narrative of a big-eyed and pouty-lipped 21-year-old, that navigates effortlessly between electro-pop and intense ’90s grunge.

According to The Guardian, “Night Time, My Time” was an album originally years in the making, but wrenched out of the hands of Ferreira’s label, reworked and re-recorded in less than three weeks. 

The 46-minute album’s release was endlessly prolonged due to conflicts with Ferreira’s label, Capitol Records, and her controversial reputation. Muddled by being labeled more of a model than a musician, her seemingly difficult persona and a drug-fueled scandal only weeks before the album’s release.

But “Night Time, My Time” is knowingly clever. It doesn’t try to change what is already known — that Ferreira is messy, her reputation clouded by the price of fame at such a young age. 

While “Night Time, My Time,” can be seen as a diary of a problematic 21-year-old, Ferreira manages to create a profoundly tinted pop album, magnified by lyrics of sincere complexity, a thick production and dramatic instrumentation. 

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    “I blame myself for my reputation,” Ferreira sings in “I Blame Myself,” intentionally basking in the excesses of her character, and deliberately turning each song into an indie pop-rock confessional of her complicated past. 

    The album begins with “Boys,” an angst-ridden sentiment of aversion screeched over an aggressive synth beat and electric bass run. 

    Ferreira speaks coyly in the beginning, her voice echoing in near silence before being joined by a steady backbeat, as the bass and kick drum integrate to form a beautiful refrain of nostalgic poise.

    “Boys, they ain’t doin’ nothin’/ For me any longer,” Ferreria sings, a message of contempt cast upon electro-pop synths and a glam-guitar riff. 

    But her contempt turns into idolization as her perspective of boys quickly changes. 

    Then I knew it was you all along/ You put my faith back in boys,” Ferreira sings, her breathiness reflecting against the grating sound of the guitar.

    A fast-paced, bold and uproarious introduction to her album, “Boys,” is a fun, grungy, pop anthem of youth optimism and love.

    Basking in Ferreira’s typical electro-pop sound is “24 Hours,” the third track on the album that weaves itself into a poetically bratty anthem of short-lived ecstasy. 

    Upbeat in tempo with an infectiously catchy melody, and amplified by surly full-bodied vocals, “24 Hours” boldly warrants its place on the album as Ferreira tells the story of an evanescent moment with a lover over soaring hormones and a bubbly electronic beat.

    “I Will,” track 10 on the album, is fueled by the remarkably addictive guitar melody and steady drum track that streamlines the song. Its rousing chorus and syrupy beat are consumed by an all-enveloping bass and distorted rock sounds and are enhanced by loud vocal hooks and serrated guitars. 

    The instrumentation, glaringly fleshed-out melodies and pop arrangement all give way to a type of edged ferocity as Ferreira’s lyrics evoke a vivid picture of her taking back control of her life.

    Track seven, “You’re Not the One,” is an atmospheric, heavy kick to the heart, beginning with an infectious guitar riff and trance-like synths. Where in other songs Ferreira’s vocals are filled with a honed intensity, “You’re Not the One” succumbs to a type of jaded vulnerability. 

    The song consists of a thick production of tempered keyboards and an electrifying guitar melody, frosted with a90s grunge sound that flawlessly reflects the song’s theme of love and heartache.

    The final song and title track of the album, “Night Time, My Time,” is an expertly curated, shamelessly unpolished, final display of Ferreira’s brazen individuality. 

    “Night Time, My Time” transcends musical and lyrical limitations, Ferreira’s hazy voice distorted by effects as she fades herself out into near soundlessness.

    I’m useless and I know it,” Ferreira sings as her warbled vocals gloss over the hollow sound of the drums in the background, granting a look inside her mind and at her presumed worthlessness. 

    Not every song on “Night Time, My Time” is deep or profound. It isn’t constantly glazed over with sentimental lyrics or weaving melodies of heartache, but it doesn’t have to. “Night Time, My Time” is a passionate and alluring proclamation of Ferreira’s independence, rich in sound and affluent with complexity. 

    Every chord and cadence proves once and for all that her album is more than a collection of cathartic pop songs, but instead, a nuanced portrait of a girl taking back control of her life.

     

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