Nite Jewel Review

Nite Jewel
Want You Back EP [2009]
Italians Do it Better

Nite Jewel is the minimal indie pop duo of Ramona Gonzales and Emily Jane from Los Angeles. When I first heard tracks last year from their debut LP Good Evening, I felt an instant kinship with their music. It had partly to do with the way it was recorded, intimately, at home and on a portable 8 track cassette deck, using a collection of old synths and drum machines; but the melodies and sounds also reminded me of the pop music that was on the radio when I was growing up: funky and familiar freestyle jams from an 80s heyday, that I still enjoy dancing to. That’s not to say the songs on Good Evening, aren’t original or precious in their own right. It’s obvious that the women making this music have their own independent ideas about composition and production.

Want You Back is the group’s first release after Good Evening and it is pleasingly in the same vein. Ethereal hooks and voices span the four tracks on this EP, though two of the songs almost count as doubles. The first track ‘Want You Back,’ a jazzy upbeat tune, is followed by the vocal stem/mix version, and the disco-y third song, ‘All out of order,’ is followed by a nice surprise. This song has a version sung entirely in Spanish, and though the lyrics are a little hard to make out (vocoder-like effects are probably responsible), it’s my favorite. Order the Want You Back 12” if you collect vinyl.

– Allie Alvarado

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