Ramona Gonzalez has just released two new Nite Jewel tracks, “On Your Own” and “The Jokes On You.” It’s the first solo stuff we’ve gotten since her 2017 album Real High, and it fits right in with her soft, steamy electronica.
“On Your Own is sonically breezy; it’s got a thick, gliding synth melody that stretches, and her voice is skillfully ethereal. But her lyrics hold a hidden weight. The last line hits the hardest, as she punches, “Am I on my own?” The question is rhetorical.
The B-side, “The Jokes On You,” is funkier. It fuses well with Gonzalez’s Nite-Funk project, a collaboration with funktronica artist Dâm-Funk, yet its lyrical atmosphere is still heavy. She traverses the insecurity of not wanting to be seen with her lover, but she still ends up with the power.
In a press release, Gonzalez divulges the reason for her music’s current nihilistic intensity:
While I’m not a stranger to worlds of turmoil and chaos, the current cultural climate has led me to an unprecedented sense of angst. Although in the past with my music, I was often able to glean a partial hope or at least some humor in my critical examinations of the present, it is now that I find myself falling into seemingly inescapable nihilistic spirals. And yet…what if there were some sort of transcendence that could emerge from coming face to face with the debased nature of humanity and its inevitable, narcissistic self-destruction? Not to be confused with hope in some pseudo-religious promise of a better world, but the letting go of one’s tight grasp of a cogent reality, a formula that makes sense, the perceived anthropomorphic center of the universe? I find something freeing in that possibility; looking outward instead of inward, reveling in something that no longer includes the premise of the self.
“On Your Own” b/w “The Jokes On You” is out now via Nite Jewel’s own Gloriette Records.