Nite Jewel is a very modern woman with all her strengths, weaknesses and endless contradictions. She sits alone waiting for the clock to strike midnight, wondering if she should hit the tiles; she curls up on the settee with a glass of red wine and a romantic movie; she writes fantastically accessible songs filled with the sorest of emotions.
Real High is Nite Jewel’s first release in four years. The album captures the heat and sensuality of LA in a similar way to Jimmy Whoo’s Motel Music Part II. It is very much a night album and definitely does not get up before 2pm. There are moments when the smoothness of Nite Jewel’s voice stops time such as on ‘Had To Let Me Go’. There is a soulfulness to her voice rather like that of Lisa Stansfield but without the Lancashire burr. But at the same time, it is very much a voice you can relax with. This track is the end of the evening when the dancefloor clears and you are left alone on it.
What elevates Nite Jewel from the ordinary female singing over a dance track, is the style of the composition and production. Self-produced, there is a European city chic about it that makes this album very grown up indeed. Songs such as ‘Real High’ and ‘The Answer’ have a pure vocal, a little like a streak of silver.
Nite Jewel utilises plenty of Prince-style graphology: ‘Who U R’, ‘2 Good 2 Be True’, ‘R We Talking Long’. Some of which are accompanied by finger clicks and harmonies. There is an obvious commerciality about these songs as they embody a glamorous vision of urban living in a canal-side apartment, the type with bare wood floors and only a white fur rug for comfort. ‘Obsession’ is kind of like Bat For Lashes but dressed in Reiss.
‘I Don’t Know’ offers a more pensive side to Nite Jewel. The repeated refrain of the title and what sound like electronic bird tweets, mark a gentle midway point. A couple of the tracks are more experimental. ‘When I Decide (It’s Alright)’ has a discordant opening, indicating that, as yet, things are far from alright. Her voice pierces through like a shard of glass or ice in a tall cocktail. It’s not the first time Nite Jewel sounds like Diana Ross, either. ‘Part of Me’ has two heart stopping moments of silence. The first at the unnerving moment when she realises ‘you’re never coming home’.
Real High is a classic love album but with a very modern twist. Nite Jewel presents slick, sleek music. She is glacial in her candour.
Real High will be released on 12th April 2017 through Gloriette.