Ramona Gonzalez, aka Nite Jewel

How to describe Ramona Gonzalez, the driving force behind Nite Jewel?? When I listened to her debut LP “Good Evening” a year ago I was awestruck. The tracks had a low-fi, synthpop-inspired sound, and were simple yet felt like so much more was going on in the arrangement. In short, what I heard was an artist primed to become another great highlight in a burgeoning Los Angeles music scene, one that produced personal favorites like No Age and TV On the Radio.
Well that feels like eons ago. Gonzalez has since graduated from college and toured in some random towns throughout America and abroad (tonight, for instance, she’s playing in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Whaa?). She still hasn’t seen much in the way of widespread success or even a full-on record deal, but she’s come out with a new EP, “Who Am I?”, that reflects a year of growth and some polished recording equipment. It’s coming out at the right time, too- the six new songs are moody and atmospheric, not only representative of the west coast but perfect for many of us as our summer vacations begin to wind down.
I think it’s a great overall effort and continues to show how Gonzalez/Nite Jewel is setting herself apart from the synth-revival/shoegaze artists who are popping up on Blalock’s and Urban Outfitters playlists with increasing frequency. If I had to single out one track though, it’d have to be “Am I Real?”. The title track, to put in a phrase, is like a Madonna throwback, if Madonna were an existentialist.
Visit the official website, http://www.nitejewel.com, for more basic info and a free stream of the “Who Am I?” EP.
Marc

Photo Credit: http://beyondrace.com/images/stories/PaperProject08_24hr_032e_NIteJewel.jpg