If you are a fan of Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, then you will dig Nite Jewel. Ramona Gonzalez, the lead singer of Nite Jewel, is also married to Cole M. Greif-Neill, a member of the Graffiti that helped with the production of both LA based lo-fi r&b pop acts. Listening to the latest album 'One Second Of Love' by Nite Jewel echoes some great mellow, yet funky jams that sound like they would place well in a futuristic version of a retro 80s night club and what is described by Ramona as "Liquid Cool". All the musical elements are represented here in recorded format. One minute you think you're hearing drum machine driven jams with minimalist keyboards, then the songs shift into surprising electric and acoustic guitar riffs layered throughout.
The opening song, "This Story", starts right off the bat with Ramona singing "I'm a broken record, you have heard this before" in an almost taunting and sudden introduction that is supported by a mellow electronic down beat. The title song of the album, "One Second Of Love", picks up with a dance club beat and catchy 80s-esque chorused vocals and similar era keyboard mixing. "She's Always Watching You" is my favorite song off the album with it's slow jam groovy vibe and Ramona's 80s r&b vocal approach that reminds me of elements of Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam and Hall & Oates. "Mind & Eyes" has a nice lo-fi r&b approach that is relaxed yet vocally compelling. "In The Dark" continues with a slow, yet almost bossa nova groove with Ramona's smooth vocal approach.
"Memory, Man" picks up a few notches and goes upbeat with accentuating keyboard goodness with Ramona singing, "I've seen this dance before". "Unearthly Delights" showcases a different minimalist non-beat approach with sparse acoustic guitar and lightly touched keyboards that sound haunting. "No I Don't" brings back a sexy down tempo beat with oscillating keyboards and synths supporting Ramona's echo drenched voice. "Autograph" sums up the total album with it's Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam inspired 80s r&b repackaged through hipster lenses, and is easily my second favorite song off the album. The last song, "Clive" drifts into total ambient Ramona vocals and minimalist keyboard washes.
Nite Jewel's latest album "One Second Of Love" deserves much more love than one measly second. It deserves at least 50 minutes of music appreciation and will be filed under "make out music". I'm also sold on the fact that the album is being put out by Secretly Canadian, a great label from my home state of Indiana. I'm happy that they get to put out the album and also hope that they can get Nite Jewel to make some appearances in Indianapolis and Bloomington this year.
Nite Jewel - "One Second Of Love" Video
- Mike C.