NITE JEWEL: REAL HIGH
“I’m afraid of losing sense of who I am,” Ramona Gonzalez—a.k.a. Nite Jewel—croons in the opening track of her latest release, Real High. Her fears are unfounded; with Real High, she has arguably created her most authentic work yet. While Nite Jewel’s 2015 album Liquid Cool was a stripped down departure from her pop album One Second of Love, Real High stylistically finds the perfect balance between the two previous releases, fusing full, slick pop production with an eclectic sound. With help from collaborators including Julia Holter and Dâm-Funk, Gonzalez has created a set of songs that are extremely catchy, eerily seductive, and undeniably cool. Her breathless voice dances over hooky synths and slick drum beats, and injects each track with vulnerability through lyrics that try to understand her relationship to herself and to others. The tracks are diverse: between the chill futuristic ambiance of the title track, the retro pop danceability of “2 Good 2 Be True” and the delicate yearning of “Obsession,” the album stays true to the late 90’s R&B/electro/funk fusion sound that she does so well, and remains fresh the whole way through.