Zola Jesus: Night

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Zola Jesus is the endeavor of a solitary girl named Nika Roza Danilova to simultaneously combat and invoke the approaching apocalypse using the only weapon/offering she has; her voice. After a decade of opera study and a musical awakening involving such varied inspiration as Billboard bubblegum, classical arias, no wave, avant industrial, she was able to thread her influences into a sound uniquely her own.

Born and raised in the backwoods of Wisconsin, Nika Roza was literally raised by wolves (well proximally anyways). Trained as an opera singer from a young age, she applied to Julliard. At 10 years old. Rejection didn’t slow her down though as she went on to complete high school in three years and is set to graduate from university with a double major in French and philosophy in the same amount of time.

Beginning her musical output at the age of 16, she released: two 7”s, an EP, a live recording from WNYU, and a split with neighboring Madison headtrips Burial Hex, on Sacred Bones, Troubleman, Die Stasi, and Aurora Borealis respectively. It was her debut full length for Sacred Bones last summer, however, that suddenly grew Zola Jesus’ profile exponentially. Her video for “Clay Bodies” debuted on the Fader and her likeness was plastered all over the interblog. The Spoils made dozens of year-end lists including: The Wire, Pitchfork, The Fader, and Dusted.

Fans and critics alike seemed rabid for new material ever but none of them were quite prepared for the massive pop-ness of her new EP on Sacred Bones, Stridulum. Recording her vocals for the first time with professional instruments, Nika’s voice is brought to the powerful forefront of the mix unleashing the full range of emotions that had only been hinted at in her previous work. No longer just the doomsday soothsayer, Nika refines her soulful psalms creating songs equally nurturing as foreboding. The praise and publicity is flowing in from the NYT to AOL and the band is eager to begin touring this year. [last.fm]

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Stridulum - EPZola Jesus
“Night” (mp3)
from “Stridulum – EP”
(Sacred Bones Records)

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