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.

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