No Sun is the fifth studio album by singer, songwriter, producer and scholar Ramona Gonzalez AKA Nite Jewel. After the critical acclaim of Real High (2017), Gonzalez began her PhD in Musicology at UCLA in 2018. At the same time, her twelve year marriage and creative partnership with Grammy Award-winning producer Cole M.G.N. dissolved, leaving her homeless and adrift. Though in a state of grief, her studies renewed her focus. Working with only a Moog sequencer and keyboard, Gonzalez improvised along to rhythmic grooves while singing in hushed undertones, which she then meticulously produced into a collection of intimate off-pop masterpieces.No Sun manifests a future out of songs of sorrow, as a part of Gonzalez’s quest to reclaim her subjectivity. Occupying a liminal space between Arthur Russell’s whispered intimacies, Tirzah’s R&B poeticism, and Kraftwerk’s rigid electronics, No Sun traverses new soundscapes through the eyes of an uncompromising female auteur.
Recorded over the course of four years in Los Angeles with the help of Cole M.G.N., these songs of transformational love and relentless nostalgia present the most personal, lyric driven Nite Jewel record to date. With everything from expansive, futuristic balladry (“Real High,” “Part Of Me”) to gauzy dance-floor hits (“2 Good 2 Be True,” “The Answer”), Nite Jewel’s fourth full length acts as her most focused and bold effort yet. Featuring contributions from long-time collaborators such as Dâm-Funk, Droop-E, and Julia Holter, the timeless production, unique voice, and pristine song-craft of Real High create an irresistible combination that only seeks to enhance its affecting message.
Though Gonzalez has always been a great arranger and producer, this album demonstrates how much she has improved as a lyricist – The Wire (8)
Her fourth album’s dramatically sparser, its unconventional structures recalling Julia Holter. … She’s most compelling on “This Time,” whose haunted spaces are gradually filled with flickering keyboards and ebow guitar – Uncut (8)
A weightless, furtive experience, ‘No Sun’ eschews what we anticipate in favour of something latent and subterranean. A triumph. – Clash
Gonzalez’s music transports you to a dreamy otherworld, with scuffed backdrops and oblique, guarded lyrics – Pitchfork (7,7)
A quietly devastating record that traces grief and recovery across eight candle-lit synth pop tracks – Resident Advisor (8)
One rush of melancholy after another, this record speaks for the lowest emotions possible, enlarging and honouring female pain in a hyper-modern way – Loud and quiet (7)