By Justin Mathew Dennis |Staff Writer|
Local electronic artist Nite Jewel is bringing a cutting edge to classic 80s synth-pop with her new album, One Second of Love.
Ramona Gonzalez began as Nite Jewel in 2008 while a college student juggling music and studies. Now armed with her bachelor’s degree in philosophy, she is still strongly pursuing her music career.
In just one year, Nite Jewel has gone from generating sound tracks for Los Angeles art galleries to touring European festivals.
Gonzalez explained to Rolling Stone that her first show on the East Coast was during her spring break.
“I was writing my thesis at the time. I was finding there is this push and pull between music and school, and then the live show was kind of karaoke,” said Gonzalez. “I wasn’t committing to music fully back then. And now I am. So I feel much more at peace performing now.”
In college she started her networking through MySpace. Soon after starting her music page, her song, “Suburbia” was selected to be featured in Ben Stiller’s movie “Greenberg.”
Nite Jewel’s music is made with warm synthesizers and old school recording techniques. One Second of Love, her second album, debuted on March 6 to positive reviews.
Her song “In the Dark” evokes a smooth and silky sound. The lyrics talk about longing for love and surrendering herself to it as you can tell in her lyric, “Holding hands in the dark, I’ll hold my hands up in the dark.”
“One Second to Love,” the album’s title track, has a darkly upbeat feel. The music features rousing synthesizers and has an infectious 80’s pop groove that listeners will enjoy.
Even with all her hype on blogs and European shows in front of hundreds of fans, her overseas success took a while to get to the States.
“We were in Fresno, or ‘the Frez’ as we call it, and these kids were just so excited to see us, they were like. ‘Nite Jewel’s the next big thing, man! We can’t wait for you to play!’ Blah blah blah,” Gonzalez told Rolling Stone. “They were giving us a hotel and money and we were just like, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’ And we ended up playing for like, seriously, five people in a sushi restaurant. And I don’t know if those five people were there to see us, or if they were there to eat.”
Now her stateside success has grown. She has participated in East Coast tours and has made numerous music videos.
Nite Jewel’s work may conjure up images of Sade, Eurythmics-era Annie Lennox and Tracy Thorn.
“Nite Jewel succeeds in crafting an album that is both lyrically and aurally rich,” said Ryan Staskel of Consequence of Sound. “She’s fascinated by certain sounds for both nostalgic and cerebral reasons, and throughout her new album, those forces duke it out.”
One Second of Love is an upbeat and catchy album and it proves that Nite Jewel is an artist worth looking out for.