Is there any question that Nite Jewel, a.k.a. keyboard queen Ramona Gonzales and crew, is a quintessential artist of the L.A. underground?

She's got ties to Ariel Pink and Dâm-Funk — in fact, the last time we heard new music from her, it was in collaboration with the Culver City boogie king — and she was one of the first local artists to get lumped into the chillwave genre, not to mention the fact that she's a dedicated pop experimentalist in a city currently full of 'em.

But no name-dropping or journalistic zeitgeisting can take away from Nite Jewel's originality or vision. Gonzales has got her own thing going on, and it involves goopy synthesizers, smatterings of Casiotone percussion, hazy dazed vocals, and funky bass.

Expect all of that on her just-announced new 6-song EP, Am I Real?, due out on Gloriette Records August 16 (digital release July 20), which you can preview after the jump.

The short release's titular song, streaming below, is actually a collaboration with a young group that's just starting to catch buzz — Teen Inc., made up of the core duo of brothers Andrew and Daniel Aged, often accompanied guitarist Michael McTaggart.

Their sound is very Princely (are you catching onto the royalty theme here?), though in a pared-down, tape-warpy kind of way.

We can't offer up a free MP3 of “Am I Real?” at the time, but it is available at Other Music.

Can you dig it?

Nite Jewel's Am I Real? (Gloriette):

1. Another Horizon

2. We Want Our Things

3. Forget You & I

4. Falling Far

5. White Lies

6. Am I Real? (feat. Teen Inc.)

LA Weekly