Review: LA’s Nite Jewel performs at Servant Jazz Quarters

LA's Nite Jewel performed slowed down versions of her electro tracks. Photo: The Windish Agency

LA's Nite Jewel performed slowed down versions of her electro tracks. Photo: The Windish Agency - Credit: Archant

Dalston’s Servant Jazz Quarters hosted the underrated electro pop artist Nite Jewel last week to a small and intimate crowd of dedicated fans.

Usually accompanied by her band, this time the Californian singer songwriter, whose real name is Romana Gonzalez, performed alone, just her and a keyboard, plus some rather bizarre moving mouth images in the background.

Nite Jewel’s music is best described as 80s lo-fi, having first experimented with a multitrack cassette recorder and keyboard in her LA home in 2008 before performing live sets around the city.

Since then, she’s released two albums and three EPs. Her most recent single One Second of Love from her 2012 album of the same name, felt like a step away from her earlier songs with its clear, faster and more forthright 80s electro beat.

However, last Wednesday Nite Jewel returned to a slower, almost warped and surreal sound which she has become known for in recent years.

She told the crowd she would be performing slowed down versions of her songs, in part because she didn’t have her band with her, including One Second of Love, This Story and In The Dark, as well as older tracks such as Want You Back, What Did He Say and Artificial Intelligence.

It was, ironically, perhaps more reflective of her more recent work, which is stripped down with less production and places her enchanting voice front and centre.

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The crowd at the Bradbury Street venue seemed to enjoy it, with a couple of guys at the front bobbing up and down throughout the whole set, while the rest stood almost completely still, appearing hypnotized by the slow earthy sounds coming from the tiny stage.

Her London gig has followed extensive touring in the US where she supported British synthpop artist Bat for Lashes and Shlohmo earlier in the year and after appearing in London last Wednesday, she was heading to Poland to perform at perform at OFF Festival.

Hopefully Nite Jewel will be back in London again soon, with or without her band, to perform some new tracks which will bring her the attention she deserves.