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Albums of 2013 – 19. Sky Ferreira – ‘Night Time, My Time’

Forget the content for the moment – it’s a minor miracle in itself that Sky Ferreira’s debut album even exists. Plagued by longer delays than Azealia Banks’ debut (read: a long-ass time) as well as years of mis-management and marketing, the release of Night Time, My Time is all the more pleasant a surprise given just how accomplished an opening statement it is.

A departure from her earlier material – 2011’s bubblegum pop EP ‘As If!’ and ‘Ghost’s alt-pop reinvention in 2012 – the full-length instead dabbles in 80s electro-pop, krautrock, and early 90s grunge. It’s a self-conscious work too – omitting her breakout hit ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’ is clearly a middle finger to anyone who thought they had her figured out. ‘You’re Not The One’ soars with its Cure-esque goth-pop cues, while even the more experimental cuts (‘Omanko’, ‘Kristine’) remain fun in their unexpectedness.

What ties the twelve tracks together is the wide-eyed reverence with which Sky approaches each respective genre. She clearly loves her filmic icons: ‘Boys’ wouldn’t feel out of place soundtracking Alicia Silverstone’s shenanigans as Cher in Clueless, while ’24 Hours’ is practically begging for the John Hughes treatment. But the real curveball comes in the form of the title track, which closes the album on a darker, more tripped-out note akin to Twin Peaks (rather beautifully conveyed by its accompanying music video).

All this, and Sky still has one foot firmly planted in the mainstream pop landscape. With an upcoming support slot for none other than Miley Cyrus, it seems as though Sky’s struck gold with her rough-around-the-edges take on pop – as the sound du jour of both the popular and indie sphere, she’s (intentionally or otherwise) playing it smart. Certainly smarter than those music industry execs who have unsuccessfully attempted to manufacture her since she was 14.

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