Infinite Shuffle

September 19, 2010

43 – Zola Jesus

Filed under: Los Angeles, Wisconsin, Z — assman41 @ 12:01 am

As I was driving out of Seattle a few weeks ago, bound for a brewpub in Tacoma, I had the radio in my rental car tuned to KEXP — which, other than “The End”, is really the only station Seattlites should ever listen to.

Anyways, as I was peering at the Space Needle in my rearview mirror, a song came on the radio that was so dark and haunting, I couldn’t help but become transfixed by it.

I had to wait a few more songs before the DJ came on and alerted me that the track was “I Can’t Stand” by Zola Jesus.

Naturally, one of the first things I did when I returned home from my vacation was look up this mysterious artist. Turns out it’s just one woman — Nika Roza Danilova — a Wisconsin-bred lass who relocated to Los Angeles and put her opera training to good use by channeling the darkest of old-school goth music.

She reminded me of a few artists from the ’80s. At first, I thought she sounded like the Cocteau Twins on crack — or, more correctly, depressants — but, perhaps a more apt comparison would be Siouxsie and the Banshees.

A contemporary counterpart would be The XX, but a lot darker and more gothic. Ironically enough, she will be opening for the “female chromosomes” on a tour of the U.S. this fall.

Zola Jesus put out a lot of music the past couple years, including a couple singles, three EPs, a split LP with Burial Hex and a trio of full-length albums. The last of which, Stridulum II, builds on a similarly named EP and includes several strong tracks, including the aforementioned “I Can’t Stand”, the opener, “Night”, and “Sea Talk”.

For more songs and info, check out her MySpace page and official website. There are also a few tracks available for free download at RCRD LBL.



  1. […] to my “Trance” playlist that includes the two aforementioned bands — as well as Zola Jesus. The soft vocals, slow pace and fuzzy guitars are a perfect accompaniment to an evening on the […]

    Pingback by 52 – Lower Dens « My Tunes — November 23, 2010 @ 12:18 am

  2. […] Zola Jesus – “I Can’t Stand” and “Sea Talk” … I’m constantly trying to decide which song I like the most from this Siouxsie & The Banshees descendent, but I can never choose between the two. […]

    Pingback by Best of 2010 – My list « My Tunes — December 31, 2010 @ 4:41 am

  3. […] Run” calls to mind both Li and Zola Jesus, but by the end it suffers from Anderson’s reliance on computer […]

    Pingback by 203 – Mr. Little Jeans | Infinite Shuffle — April 27, 2014 @ 3:00 am

  4. […] voice bares strong similarity to Imogen Heap, but there are also traces of Leslie Feist, Zola Jesus (another Wisconsin native) and the Haim […]

    Pingback by 211 – PHOX | Infinite Shuffle — February 6, 2015 @ 4:05 pm

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