When L.A. artist Ramona Gonzalez released her first collection of lo-fi lounge music as Nite Jewel in 2008, her eight-track creations made a mark among the avant-pop underground. Her inaugural Good Evening LP generated ample interest in bedroom-disco, with highlights like “Weak for Me” and “What Did He Say?” pegging her aesthetic: 1980s pop filtered through a tin can. Her vibe was charming, but better suited for headphones than a club, and from the beginning her technique suggested she could move beyond the limits of cassette culture.
Nite Jewel’s sound has gradually developed since then, and following a string of releases for boutique labels like Italians Do It Better and Mexican Summer, “One Second of Love” reaches a new level. Whereas her previous recordings were capable only of hinting at Eno-like instrumentals, this song recalls them strongly, offering four minutes of funk-oriented pop with a crisp, galactic feel. Gonzalez’ voice booms over the snappy synth grooves, and a mid-tempo drum beat provides a cool, danceable sway. It could all easily remind you of the Samps, and rightfully so. That group’s member Cole M. Greif-Neill produced and played on the entire record, which comes via Secretly Canadian in March.
Elise and David Commathe’s (Au Palais) demo song, Tender Mercy has a subtle yet elegant production that blends perfectly with the calm and collectedly beautiful lyrics.
Pitchfork also said: “…the title track to AU PALAIS’ ‘Tender Mercy’ EP, with its shimmering neon optimism and soaring vocals, finds a way to let in a bit more light. But then there beneath it all is a rumbling low end, creating just the right amount of contrast and reminding you why these guys take care to note on their Bandcamp that they ‘record their music at night’.”
FADER has also fallen head-over-heels for the band, “AU PALAIS’ contemplative siren sings with restraint, her presence barely-there. She doesn’t bombard with magnitude or woeful wallop. ‘Tender Mercy’ is perfect music for walking home from the party that turned sour.”