As Nite Jewel’s music has only matured and grown stronger in the realm of its 80s-tinged genre, Ramona Gonzalez’s vocals have had a chance to beautifully meld with the visuals she comes up with for her videos. While the music videos for early Nite Jewel tracks “Lover” and “What Did He Say” perfectly complemented the minimalistic DIY nature of the auditory offerings, it was always clear that the singer was striving for more.
The lead single from her sophomore album, “One Second of Love,” showcased Nite Jewel’s ability to turn simple concepts (a dinner party crashed by a minotaur-esque mythical creature and his fashionably Jehovah’s witness-looking dancers) into something grandiose. With “Kiss the Screen,” it’s more about taking a big idea and centralizing it. The abstraction Nite Jewel makes all too real in the latest single from her third record, Liquid Cool, is that our attachment to screens in the modern era has made real interaction a task much more herculean in nature than it needs to be.
Playing a mousy cashier at a bakery, Nite Jewel eyes an attractive customer from afar, letting her mind wander to surreal scenarios in which she dresses in clothes that look like a computer screen and hovers above the object of her affection with a trio of other dancers voyeuristically looking on as he gazes into his phone.
A somewhat ironic play on the classic 60s track “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss),” rather than instruct people to find out if a man’s interested by determining it from his kiss, Nite Jewel is instead saying, “I’m kissin’ the screen,” because, well, “you’re just a handheld fantasy”–a.k.a. the only visual or verbal exchanges that occur between people romantically anymore seem to happen solely on their phones.
As she continues to lurk behind her crush in an apparitional form, she states, “I type out the words to be read,” iterating the fact that expression has been reduced to a screen, which can largely diminish the way a message of love comes across. By the end of the video, it appears as though Nite Jewel might actually make contact, but, of course, it’s all just a daydreaming fantasy–one that virtual reality tends to confuse. But such are love and affection in the modern era. Then again, maybe it’s always been this way–at least if we’re going by Thomas Dolby’s “Screen Kiss”; we just keep evolving from larger ascendant screens, apparently.