Crown Jewel

Published February 15, 2012

 

Nite Jewel is the brainchild of Los Angeles singer-songwriter Ramona Gonzalez, who works closely with her producer-instrumentalist husband, Cole M. Greif-Neill (who’s also a producer and audio engineer for Beck). Together the couple make ambient, rainy-day disco, pairing optimistic yearning with placid grooves. The funk they create is so carefully measured, the undulations of the beats so light, the dips and peaks of the melodies so gentle that tracks like “In the Dark” and “Memory, Man” would better be described as dance music to ponder over rather than to break a sweat to. Gonzalez, 28, draws inspiration from classic ’70s rock albums by David Bowie, Steely Dan, and Roxy Music—“It was a time in music when records were centered around a lot of money, thought, care, and drugs,” she says—as well as ’90s hip-hop and R&B acts like Aaliyah and Janet Jackson. There are echoes of all of this on Nite Jewel’s shimmering sophomore LP, One Second of Love (Secretly Canadian), out this month.