Ness Nite, a 22-year-old musician with dual home bases in Minneapolis and New York, has just delivered a fresh new collection of tunes on the cusp of rap and R&B. It’s called Dream Girl, and it’s out today on POW Recordings, the label run by esteemed music journalist and Passion Of The Weiss founder Jeff Weiss. You really ought to listen to it.
Dream Girl boasts the same deeply personal disposition as Nite Time, the debut EP Nite released two years ago, but here that project’s potential turns kinetic. Not that Dream Girl is particularly intense, sonically speaking — it sounds misty and leisurely, implying the “dream” in Dream Girl is a little bit literal. But as she told Noisey, the title is not just about embracing her nocturnal inclinations:
Women before us have done great things but have not always had the opportunity to say what they want to say and do what they want to do. Dream Girl is not “I’m the girl of your dreams.” It’s the concept of having the ability, space, and opportunity to achieve our dreams. To me, it’s like what my great grandma and what my grandma would dream of doing. We’re at the point in society where women actually have power and control of their own lives and bodies.
She uses that agency with confidence from the jump. “Fuck everything that you had before, my love,” she sings on the opening track, with a craftsmanship and easygoing strength to back up the braggadocio. “You ain’t gotta flex on me,” she intones on the following track, her voice a streak of neon against production that bumps with beauty and grace. “Spread your wings, and I’ll help you flutter again.” The booming 808s and air-light percussive keyboards of “Tightrope” will effortlessly rein you in.
In the two years since Nite Time, Nite linked up with Alex Tumay, a former protégé of Merriweather Post Pavilion producer Ben Allen who has become a go-to engineer for hip-hop’s biggest names. (And I do mean the biggest: Young Thug, Metro Boomin, 21 Savage, Travis Scott, Migos, Gucci Mane, Aminé, Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and T.I. are just the ones he could fit into his Twitter bio.) Yet the project he’s most invested in appears to be Dream Girl, and it’s obvious why. Stream the album in full below.
Dream Girl is out now on POW Recordings. Purchase it here.