One of my favourite new bands of the last couple of years is Nite Jewel, which is basically Ramona Gonzalez from Los Angeles. She’s the singer, songwriter, keyboardplayer and producer. Nite Jewel’s debut album was a little bit too lo-fi for my tastes, which is why I’m very happy with the sound of “Am I Real?”, #nowplaying on 22tracks’ pop playlist.
Nite Jewel’s album Good Evening (2008), and last year’s “Want You Back” single both had a disco pulse that is missing from Am I Real?, the new EP. That’s okay though, because Gonzalez has a way with chords and beats and melody that is invariaby mesmerising. She showed as much, in September of last year, when Nite Jewel (three people) played its first show in Amsterdam and I got really into it. The music is funky, and jazzy, and poppy but at the same time elusive, hazy and dreamy. “Am I Real?” definitely has some ’80s R&B in it. Watch Nite Jewel make a song with likemind Dâm-Funk late last year:
Am I Real? contains a couple of revamped songs from the tour CD that I bought at Studio 80 last year. I hope to buy a copy of the new one whenever Nite Jewel returns to Holland. On it, Gonzalez collaborates with Cole M.G.N. (also guitarist in the wonderful Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti) and, on the title track, brothers Andrew and Daniel Aged of the similarly ’80s-inclined Teen Inc. The way things are going, I wouldn’t rule out a Toto collabo somewhere along the way, but for now you can listen to the current Nite Jewel record thanks to this handy widget: