Two songs into her new record, Nite Jewel asks the operative question: was that a sign? The Los Angeles native has spent much of the past four years mulling that over. Her 2012 album, One Second of Love, captivated listeners for its willingness to play in the fringes of pop; elements of dance and electronic music were warped and bent into something that was equal parts foreign and instinctual.
It served as the culmination of an aesthetic that the singer, born Ramona Gonzalez, had been cultivating since the last Bush years, and it was inescapable if you frequented the right crevices of California. But when it came time to follow it up, Gonzalez realized the world was pointing her in a new direction.
This story has been told before. Nite Jewel churned out demos for years, with her record label questioning whether she could go “pop” or not. The influence proved toxic. She realized she needed to separate from them; she had worked independently with success in the past and could do it again. She needed to
remind herself why she was making music in the first place. And by the top of last year, she made that happen.
Last January, the pieces started falling into place. “I put all my gear including my 8 track in a walk-in closet,” Gonzalez says. “I had left my label and was back in my element. I felt like I had found my identity again.” She was independent, free from authority, and able to regain creative control.
The end result is Liquid Cool, a fascinating collection of nine songs produced and performed entirely by Nite Jewel. The record explores the theme of aloneness in a crowded and disconnected world. On “Over the Weekend,”Gonzalez aims for a kind of skeletal, kinetic intrigue that unspools into an of-the-moment rallying cry.
“Boo Hoo” provides a danceable groove underscoring a tearful refrain; “Kiss the Screen” sounds like the best date you had in high school if it had taken place on Mars. “I felt like I was trying to talk to my audience, but couldn’t be heard,” she says. “There were barriers like money and bureaucracy.” Liquid Cool examines that lack of connection, and does so in intoxicating fashion.
Sean Nicholas Savage is a singer-songwriter and musician from Montreal, Quebec, who is an influential member of the Arbutus Records and Canadian indie music scene. He has been described by Emilie Friedlander in an article for The Fader as “a singer-songwriter, madcap philosopher, and all-around scene-pillar in the particular freak-flag-flying sector of the Canadian music community surrounding folks like Grimes, Mac DeMarco, TOPS and Doldrums”. He is known for his prolific output, poetic lyrics and varied musical style.
Sean Nicholas Savage has released twelve recordings on Arbutus Records, and was one of the first artists to join the label after its inception in 2009. Savage was an on/off resident at the Lab Synthèse DIY space that the label was born out of.
This event is presented by Digital in Berlin. Check out our Facebook page to win tickets.
Nite Jewel + Sean Nicholas Savage
Monday, 26th September 2016 | 20:00 CET
Urban Spree | Revaler Str. 99 | 10245 Berlin/Friedrichshain