zola jesus

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i don't think there was ever a zola jesus thread, despite some discussion in the rolling singles threads and her rad first record.

new ep forthcoming, production more upfront:


there's a little WFMU introduction and session here for the unacquainted.

Norman Mail (schlump), Tuesday, 16 February 2010 23:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

she's from madison.

by another name (amateurist), Tuesday, 16 February 2010 23:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

she is like twenty years old (or so)

Norman Mail (schlump), Tuesday, 16 February 2010 23:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

She's great. I haven't heard it all but she is a sweetheart & I do like her LP "The Spoils" and the first singles. I never listened to that LP with Burial Hex.

Joint Custody (ian), Tuesday, 16 February 2010 23:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

I need to relisten to some of this stuff, I liked it when it came up on shuffle at work.

sleeve, Tuesday, 16 February 2010 23:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

I like Spoils and um...I can't remember the name of the single but I liked it, too.

Möbius dick (╓abies), Wednesday, 17 February 2010 02:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

she's from madison.

― by another name (amateurist), Tuesday, February 16, 2010 5:07 PM (3 hours ago) Bookmark

I should really watch out for her if she ever makes it to the TC

Möbius dick (╓abies), Wednesday, 17 February 2010 02:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

the spoils was one of my top ten records last year. pretty unfortunate that it flew under the radar as much as it did, because i think she's one of the few people nowadays who is/was actually doing lo-fi right, and not just using the murk to hide horrible songwriting. it's an aesthetic choice for her, and the distant vocals just add such a haunting quality to her work.

"night" from the new EP just kills, and really proves that she's got the chops to step up and not hide in washes of reverb.

borntohula, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 03:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

I love, love, love Zola Jesus. I hadn't heard of her until I saw her with Woods in Chicago about six or seven months ago.

"Night" which I heard via Pitchfork is awesome. The Spoils was a top three album for me last year and "Six Feet (From My Baby)" was one of my top 25 tracks of the last decade.

I can't wait to hear her new EP.

t0dd swiss, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 04:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

this is like the only good music to come out of madison that i can think of

by another name (amateurist), Wednesday, 3 March 2010 05:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

ever? no way.

sleeve, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 06:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

uh oh, now you've done it...this is gonna turn into a Killdozer thread in no time.

(I Just) Died In Your Asshat Tonight, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 06:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

ok killdozer gets a pass

by another name (amateurist), Wednesday, 3 March 2010 07:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

She's very goth. I think ILM as a whole could go wild for her.

Think Bat for Lashes with Grouper's intimate, dark secluded house production?

Davek (davek_00), Wednesday, 3 March 2010 08:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

She's very goth. I think ILM as a whole could go wild for her.

Think Bat for Lashes with Grouper's intimate, dark secluded house production?

― Davek (davek_00), Wednesday, March 3, 2010 3:04 AM (14 hours ago) Bookmark

nail on the head. i want to throw a bit of early marissa nadler in there too.

borntohula, Wednesday, 3 March 2010 23:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

Sacred Bones now has the Stridulum CD/12" for pre-order, kids. http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com/

i've given "Night" a virtual spin or two, haveta admit it doesn't strike me immediately like her previous work, but i'm hoping it'll be a grower.

(I Just) Died In Your Asshat Tonight, Thursday, 4 March 2010 03:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

sacred boners, tbh.

Joint Custody (ian), Thursday, 4 March 2010 19:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

i've given "Night" a virtual spin or two, haveta admit it doesn't strike me immediately like her previous work

Weird, as I've had the exact opposite experience with the two Stridulum tracks I've heard. "Why hasn't she sounded this good all along?!"

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 4 March 2010 19:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

i don't see what's so great about her.

there is good music in madison, although some of the best bands don't play that often and/or have members scattered across a few cities.

(also btw my band is playing at the frequency tomorrow night. we'll be doing a lot of michael jackson songs.)

rinse the lemonade (Jordan), Thursday, 4 March 2010 19:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

I think you just sold me with the Grouper comparison.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 4 March 2010 20:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

i don't think the relatively hi-fi production actually changes the experience of listening to her much: her voice is still amid balanced layers of everything else rather than out front.

werewolf congress (schlump), Thursday, 4 March 2010 20:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

hey jordan what are some of the decent madison bands?

also i would love to make it tomorrow night but i am babysitting for a friend,,,

by another name (amateurist), Thursday, 4 March 2010 20:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

el clan destino

other bands that i've only caught once or twice but are interesting:

all tiny creatures
his & hers vanities

i don't keep up all that much with the rock scene or the inferno scene, though.

rinse the lemonade (Jordan), Thursday, 4 March 2010 21:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

btw it looks like zola jesus is playing this saturday, at the project lodge

rinse the lemonade (Jordan), Thursday, 4 March 2010 21:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

i keeps seeing that ddude with black slime pic around
now i knows why

Anton Levain (jdchurchill), Thursday, 4 March 2010 22:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

Hah glad you guys like the comparison. Going to listen to 'Night' a couple of times.

Also does the very very creepy black slime photo remind you guys of Fever Ray? Although nothing will top that Swedish music awards appearance..

Davek (davek_00), Thursday, 4 March 2010 23:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

ok, so the new 12" fucking slays.

bove, Monday, 8 March 2010 16:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

I just got home from seeing her for the second time (in Chicago).

I have no words for how amazing she is live.

I can't believe that I only paid $10 for this show. It is sooooo hypnotic and beautiful and epic.

I know that I sound like a ridiculous fanboy, but I don't know if I could miss another one of her shows in Chicago.

t0dd swiss, Sunday, 14 March 2010 07:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

ok, so the new 12" fucking slays.

hearing everything a little closer to the speakers i'm struck by how charming her voice is; when she's not stretching operatically it's really clipped and tremulous. this is great though, uh huh, i can't stand is doing it for me right now.

we just have to get over it that's science (schlump), Friday, 19 March 2010 12:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

I've listened to this EP as much as I've listened to anything else this year; "Manifest Destiny" in particular gives me goosebumps every time. Epic stuff. I used to cover the Madison music scene, and with all due respect to the pretty decent musicians there, this is the first thing I've heard from Madison since I left that's truly stunned me.

Evan R, Friday, 19 March 2010 15:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Her voice reminds me of that "hold on to that old fashioned feeling" alt-country lady. What's her name?

bamcquern, Sunday, 4 April 2010 17:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

'night' is a great fucking song. anyone else getting a fever ray vibe off this?

Michael B, Sunday, 4 April 2010 17:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

'i can't stand' ffs.

ian, Friday, 9 April 2010 16:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

Night is still great but the rest I found very samey. Looking forward to her next steps.

Davek (davek_00), Friday, 9 April 2010 16:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

xpost That's not the answer to either question, Ian.

bamcquern, Friday, 9 April 2010 16:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

Can't tell you how much I've been loving this stuff over the past few months. So far, I'm most infatuated with The Spoils and Tsar Bomba, less so Stridulum. I mean, I have no problems with the relative clarity of her vocals on the new stuff. I like the clarity. But I'm bummed that the electronic texturing has been reduced to a backdrop for those vocals. There's something incredibly involving and fresh about the tension between singing/songs and ambience/atmosphere on those earlier recordings. Night's stunning and all, but it's much easier to get a handle on than say Rester. It seems like an outstanding example of a songwriting approach I'm already familiar with, rather than something truly unique (but still appealingly pop). Maybe that's unfair, I dunno...

contenderizer, Thursday, 22 April 2010 05:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

anyone else getting a fever ray vibe off this?

yeah a little bit. first listen to Stridulum I was trying to place what else sounds like this and I thought Siouxsie and The Knife

dmr, Thursday, 22 April 2010 13:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

sounds like siouxsie sioux singing over really gothic fever ray beats. it's pretty cool, though, i guess. her voice is just like siouxsie sioux, but with that affected twang that like every female vocalist is doing these days. holly miranda, lilly allen, feist. ugh, nevermind, i hate this music.

marc iv, Monday, 26 April 2010 20:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

I thought Siouxsie and The Knife

So Dan's favorite musician ever, is what you're saying.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 26 April 2010 20:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

Fever Ray News:

Zola Jesus to support Fever Ray on 2010 European tour

We can announce that Zola Jesus will be supporting Fever Ray in London, Paris and Glasgow on the September 2010 European tour. Read more at feverray.com.

6th Sep - O2 ABC, Glasgow, UK - Buy Tickets - W/ Zola Jesus
8th Sep - Brixton Academy, London, UK - Buy Tickets - W/ Zola Jesus
9th Sep - La Cigale, Paris, France - Buy Tickets - W/ Zola Jesus
10th Sep - Berlin Festival, Berlin, Germany - Buy Tickets
11-13th Sep – Bestival, Isle of Wight, UK - Buy Tickets

micarl, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 18:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

Nika + Rory > Zola Jesus

thistle supporter (mcoll), Thursday, 6 May 2010 13:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

not very good live, i'm afraid

goole, Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

i find her songs and her singing very samey. i thought i would like it, but she's not really weird enough. i want her to do something more interesting with her voice that she doesn't seem to be doing. maybe she hasn't been given good enough melodies to do more than that one thing she does.

an outlet to express the dark invocations of (La Lechera), Wednesday, 30 June 2010 16:03 (seven years ago) Permalink

i find her songs and her singing very samey.this is a fair complaint, though not one that troubles me much so far. suspect that it is what keeps me at a distance from stridulum, though. in the past, the music was doing at least half the work, where now her voice has become the primary focus. in that context, she does lean a bit too hard on a few (admittedly good) tricks. for the moment, i'm happy listening to her older material and waiting to see what comes next.

interstellar overdraft (contenderizer), Wednesday, 30 June 2010 16:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

bought a used copy of the soeur sewer (sir sewer?) 45 the other day for a couple bucks. very nice.

interstellar overdraft (contenderizer), Wednesday, 30 June 2010 16:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

not very good live, i'm afraid

― goole, Wednesday, June 30, 2010 11:59 AM (Yesterday) Bookmark

saaaay whaaaaat? i saw her a few weeks back for NXNE, and she was great. the band wasn't even her own group of regulars. she had amazing projection and just captivated everybody in the room. not much of a presence really, but as the show progressed, she looked a bit more comfortable.

borntohula, Thursday, 1 July 2010 05:13 (seven years ago) Permalink

never see her, but have heard very promising word from everyone i know who has

interstellar overdraft (contenderizer), Thursday, 1 July 2010 05:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

has a new collaborative or split ep out with someone soon, and is rereleasing stridulum as stridulum ii with some extra junk on. playing shows with fever ray too

Earning your Masters in Library and Information Science is beautiful (schlump), Thursday, 1 July 2010 20:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

just ordered the new split with LA Vampires fron nnf

van smack, Thursday, 1 July 2010 20:13 (seven years ago) Permalink

eh, maybe it was an off night or the soundman didn't get what was up. her singing was flat and the keyboards sounded kind of anemic. it just wasn't that great.

goole, Thursday, 1 July 2010 20:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

still missing the crushing synth fuzz of her early stuff

i get this but the vocal hook in poor animal is hard to discount. it's a little monster of a goth-rock song.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 7 November 2010 15:57 (seven years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

i <3 "sea talk".. reminds me heavily of mahogany's "my bed is my castle"

shart to the *plop* (electricsound), Thursday, 23 December 2010 02:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

Still annoyed that thhe vs LA Vampires things isn't available as a CD

buildings with goats on the roof (James Morrison), Thursday, 23 December 2010 02:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

really really digging the valusia ep

all yoga attacks are fire based (rogermexico.), Wednesday, 29 December 2010 05:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

valusia is incredibly good! the second she started singing in the first song i was like "i have made an excellent decision in purchasing this"

got the other one coming in the mail in a bit.

call all destroyer, Sunday, 30 January 2011 02:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

i think djp would be feelin this

call all destroyer, Sunday, 30 January 2011 02:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

New track 'Vessel' from upcoming album Conatus, released Oct 4th. Kinda reminds me of a Gothic Lykke Li a bit.


Tracklistling etc http://consequenceofsound.net/2011/06/zola-jesus-announces-new-album-conatus/

Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats, Wednesday, 29 June 2011 13:31 (six years ago) Permalink

wow, this is great. want discomix.

And the piano, it sounds like a carnivore (contenderizer), Wednesday, 29 June 2011 16:56 (six years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

This is a great record. It's streaming here:


Evan R, Thursday, 22 September 2011 19:28 (six years ago) Permalink

"[this song] feels the most vivid to me, as if finally I was able to communicate this universe that is my prison."

"The only thing keeping me together at this point was a terrible bliss I felt from being alone."

"I thought of the chorus while doing my daily walk from my house to the drugstore, the only chore that brought me outside."

Can't parody this stuff.

Doctor Madame Frances Experimento LLC (SNM), Thursday, 22 September 2011 19:39 (six years ago) Permalink

so is the new album worth getting or not?

got mixed reviews so far

prego, Monday, 26 September 2011 18:50 (six years ago) Permalink

I've listened to it twice and i can't remember a thing about it

Number None, Monday, 26 September 2011 19:01 (six years ago) Permalink

only listened once: if you dig e.g. "sea talk" you should dig this

all yoga attacks are fire based (rogermexico.), Friday, 7 October 2011 05:43 (six years ago) Permalink

What if you only dug "Night"?

psychedelicatessen (seandalai), Friday, 7 October 2011 12:08 (six years ago) Permalink

I've been waiting and hoping this pops up in Rhapsody so I can check it out before buying. Loved pretty much everything she's done to this point (that I've heard anyway).

musicfanatic, Friday, 7 October 2011 13:06 (six years ago) Permalink

Just saw Evan's link. Still works! Thanks. I hope it's still up after I get off work today. (I thought websites only had these things up until the release of the album?)

musicfanatic, Friday, 7 October 2011 13:08 (six years ago) Permalink

It's on spotify too if you have that.

master musicians of jamiroquai (NickB), Friday, 7 October 2011 13:08 (six years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...
five months pass...

"Skin" (from Conatus) is devastating..... love the whole album to death, it's gorgeous.

ilxor, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 04:15 (six years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Now that we're pretty well into the 90s revival, I'm working on a mixtape and I'm hunting for a few more 90s throwback tracks that sound like Nika (Zola Jesus) + Rory's Do You Wanna Be My Baby. Obviously I'm gonna use some Pictureplane, Elite Gymnastics, Korallreven, Keep Shelly in Athens, maybe a little jj or Onra. But I'm looking for something that sounds a little more lo-fi and homemade, like the feel of the Nika+Rory track above -- camped out in the bedroom trying to do Nellee Hooper's Soul II Soul productions. Maria Minerva is closing to what I'm getting at but she doesn't sound like she wants to be pop enough. Anyone found anything like this out there on myspace or bandcamp or whatever? Recommendations appreciated.


Dare, Tuesday, 28 August 2012 00:54 (five years ago) Permalink

would like to hear this fine mixtape

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 28 August 2012 09:56 (five years ago) Permalink

The fatti frances thing is pretty close to what I'm looking for ... thanks! Now if only I could find stuff with more piano vamps and an obsession w/the big drum track on St. Etienne's version of Only Love Can Break Your Heart.

Dare, Tuesday, 28 August 2012 15:58 (five years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

zola vocals vs foetus orchestral arrangements


this could be quite an album ...

mark e, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 16:57 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

so nobody cares about her any more? still decicing what I think about at-first-disappointing new album

ornamental cabbage (James Morrison), Friday, 3 October 2014 02:41 (three years ago) Permalink

yeah, i wasn't liking what i heard

I dunno. (amateurist), Friday, 3 October 2014 06:47 (three years ago) Permalink

It's not awful, just a bit too transitional.

Herbie Handcock (Murgatroid), Friday, 3 October 2014 06:49 (three years ago) Permalink

dangerous days is growing on me

resulting post (rogermexico.), Tuesday, 7 October 2014 04:54 (three years ago) Permalink

Me too! Rest of the album notsomuch, Long Way Down probs a personal fav cut

nxd, Tuesday, 7 October 2014 08:11 (three years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

y'all are talking about Taiga right? failed bid for synth pop modernity imo

sleeve, Thursday, 23 October 2014 18:03 (three years ago) Permalink

transparently so, but still strong on the back half imo.

The Rihanna Danilova thing is a miss but the live show with horn section is festival-ready.

resulting post (rogermexico.), Thursday, 23 October 2014 19:54 (three years ago) Permalink

was just listening to track #11 and thinking "OK, I like this more than the readymade hit single vibe of Hunger"

sleeve, Thursday, 23 October 2014 20:32 (three years ago) Permalink

the problem is there isn't *enough* readymade hit single vibe. this could have gone two ways: full-on synthpop hit single vibes, or full-on huge impassive bleak stuff. either would be better than splitting the difference.

katherine, Thursday, 23 October 2014 20:47 (three years ago) Permalink

otm imo

resulting post (rogermexico.), Thursday, 23 October 2014 21:41 (three years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

not feeling that record at all.

akm, Tuesday, 21 July 2015 21:27 (two years ago) Permalink

fair. just had the very weird experience of hearing "dangerous days" in, like, a Lucky Brand retail store. happy for her but o_0

resulting post (rogermexico.), Tuesday, 21 July 2015 23:28 (two years ago) Permalink

yeah. I'm glad she's getting the exposure and I don't think anyone is making her do anything she doesn't want to do, it's just a jarring thing after the last record.

akm, Wednesday, 22 July 2015 03:52 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

New album just announced, she's back on Sacred Bones.


Fittingly, the 11 electronics-driven songs on Okovi share musical DNA with her early work on Sacred Bones. The music was written in pure catharsis, and as a result, the sonics are heavy, dark, and exploratory. In addition to the contributions of Danilova’s longtime live bandmate Alex DeGroot, producer/musician WIFE, cellist/noise-maker Shannon Kennedy from Pedestrian Deposit, and percussionist Ted Byrnes all helped build Okovi’s textural universe.

With Okovi, Zola Jesus has crafted a profound meditation on loss and reconciliation that stands tall alongside the major works of its genre. The album peaks of tragedy with great wisdom and clarity. Its songs plumb dark depths, but they reflect light as well.


Last year, I moved back to the woods in Wisconsin where I was raised. I built a little house just steps away from where my dilapidated childhood tree fort is slowly recombining into earth. Okovi was fed by this return to roots and several very personal traumas.

While writing Okovi, I endured people very close to me trying to die, and others trying desperately not to. Meanwhile, I was fighting through a haze so thick I wasn’t sure I’d find my way to the other side. Death, in all of its masks, has been encircling everyone I love, and with it the questions of legacy, worth, and will.

Okovi is a Slavic word for shackles. We’re all shackled to something—to life, to death, to bodies, to minds, to illness, to people, to birthright, to duty. Each of us born with a unique debt, and we have until we die to pay it back. Without this cost, what gives us the right to live? And moreover, what gives us the right to die? Are we really even free to choose?

This album is a deeply personal snapshot of loss, reconciliation, and a sympathy for the chains that keep us all grounded to the unforgiving laws of nature. To bring it to life, I decided to enlist the help of Alex DeGroot, who has been the only constant in my live band and helped mix the Stridulum EP back in 2010. It will be released on Sacred Bones, the closest group of people I’ll ever have to blood-bound family.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 13:59 (one year ago) Permalink

yay! one of my favourite voices in music atm

nxd, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 22:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Hoping its back to the Stridulum sensibility, too.

it's just locker room treason (Sanpaku), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 00:05 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Anyway, album's out and all -- and it's really good! I might call it my favorite by her yet.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 September 2017 04:08 (nine months ago) Permalink

I particularly like the bits that take inspiration from Bug.

Special Egyptian Guest Star (Sanpaku), Sunday, 17 September 2017 22:49 (nine months ago) Permalink

Gavin R. otm

Life is so much better with @ZOLAJESUS Thankyou for another masterpiece ❤️

— GAVIN ROSSDALE (@GavinRossdale) September 19, 2017

People get OKOVI if you are in need and desire. @ZOLAJESUS

— GAVIN ROSSDALE (@GavinRossdale) September 19, 2017

🔱 Holger Jowday ^🌑^ (Dancing on the Pylons), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 03:25 (nine months ago) Permalink

Welp, Gavin's not wrong. Saw her on Sunday night and she was amazing even while recovering from a virus/laryngitis. I love this album so much.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Tuesday, 3 October 2017 19:48 (eight months ago) Permalink

Loved the hell out of Stridulum but that album became associated with a pretty horrible time of my life so I stayed well clear of her afterwards. I now feel ready to get back in

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 3 October 2017 20:04 (eight months ago) Permalink

I dreamt the other day that I was gonna travel to Asheville to see her play there and it was intense and amazing. I sadly ended up not having the opportunity to do so irl :(

🔱 Holger Jowday ^🌑^ (Dancing on the Pylons), Wednesday, 4 October 2017 21:23 (eight months ago) Permalink

It was very intense and amazing. Granted I'm going thru some stuff rn but I cried though a good portion of the performance.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Thursday, 5 October 2017 14:03 (eight months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

just the intro of this album blew me away

Week of Wonders (Ross), Tuesday, 31 October 2017 04:23 (seven months ago) Permalink

yeah she put on an awesome show both times i've seen her, strongly recommend to anyone who likes her records at all.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 13:54 (seven months ago) Permalink

yeah this new one is really good, been playing it on the air every week

sleeve, Tuesday, 31 October 2017 14:37 (seven months ago) Permalink

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