Ramona Gonzalez, better known as Nite Jewel, defies the mold. Artists in her lane, with an instantly recognizable sound, sometimes saddled with the dreaded “chillwave” tag, tend to burn bright, and burn fast, flashes in the pan, a hyped debut and then...well, not much more. Gonzalez, on the other hand, has steadily, perhaps somewhat quietly, been building a career meant to weather changing tides, growing as a songwriter all the while. Unfortunately, this might doom her to the 'underrated' column, as she comfortably chugs forward with Real High – her fourth LP – the listener knows what they're in for. However, that familiarity belies that this is her most self-assured and focused work to date.

Seeming to drift in the nebula of uncertainty when one isn't fully aware if they're falling out of love – or deeper into it, Real High is a minor masterpiece of mood. It bounces up and slinks low accordingly, keeping the vibe fresh throughout. Even in her deepest moments of discontent, Gonzalez keeps the energy gracefully placid.

Another side of the album digs into the unavoidable drive to find companionship. As ‘In the Nite’ kicks off the album, when she sings, “In the night / I go out, looking for you,” there's a clear double meaning: this 'you' could be anyone, the next person to love. At the same time, she is clearly remembering her last lover, but doesn't seem to be seeking him out in particular: don't we all look for the best parts of our past highs in new partners? It's instantly relatable. From there she swerves into a mixture of melancholy and understanding for said past lover on ‘Had to Let Me Go’, certainly one of the more the gentle songs of heartbreak in recent memory.

The title-track again veers into the search for love, defining human need in about one sentence: “Looking for a real high – and a real low, isn't that the way that love goes?” The following tracks, ‘The Answer’, directly replied to with, ‘I Don't Know’, certainly isn't a coincidence in sequencing, and the latter offers up a charming take on a drunken evening with friends. She continues on this path of discovery and desperation, ‘Part of Me’ standing out as one of the album's catchiest ballads, as she wonders if he is coming home, leading into the album's defining moment.

‘Obsession’ is that moment. That moment when you realize the relationship has stagnated, and while you just may stick around, there's nowhere better to go. She sees his eyes wandering, and doesn't need to take much of a leap to imagine him seeking out new flings, putting the drive to cheat beautifully, “You go out, and talk to strangers.” It is a strange concept after all, feeling the need to seek out people simply because they are new, when the person who knows us best is already waiting.

Suffice to say, Real High is a considered, mature statement for Nite Jewel. There is no resentment in these songs, only a wistful kind of understanding. Album closer ‘R We Talking Long’ finds her presumably having found that new lover, and she is finally ready to open herself up to the next person. Let's hope it goes better for her this time, but if not, we could always do with another journey through her healing process. It offers a bit of comfort for all of us.