Zola Jesus, aka Nika Rosa Danilova, is one of the most talented musicians/composers/songwriters of our generation. She weaves haunting melodies with strong bass and drum loops to give you a dark, beautiful, and somber ep titled Stridulum. This album is mature and full of longing, but not whiny or degrading as you might get with other 21-year old artists these days. In a world of Youtube sensationalism and manufactured corporate pop (aka crapfest), it is refreshing to hear something so powerful and unique. The opening song, "Night" paves the way with moments of cold certainty, appropriate given that this entire album was recorded in winter 2009. Next we have "Trust Me" and "I Can't Stand," two tracks delivering more enchanting, albeit somewhat melancholy, lyrics and expertly-mixed keys and bass/drum loops. The title piece is reminiscent of Kate Bush's Hounds of Love, breathtaking in its complexity and grandeur, yet subtle rather than pretentious, a great balance to say the least. "Run Me Out" follows without mercy, booming synth chords build to a slow, steady stream of alluring vocals, which continue over a chorus of ghostly wails and tempting piano chords, fading into a wonderful soft echo of the beginning of the album. We end our short bewitching journey with "Manifest Destiny," replete with droning bass and unyielding keys layered with forceful vocals. As an ep, it stands on its own in a world full of meaningless singles and mindless tracks. I'm looking forward to a full length release in 2011.
You can find more info at: Sacred Bones Records
and you can buy this fantastic morsel of musical history here:
Love and peace,