Zola Jesus played Other Music

The first impression I got when coming across Nika Danilova from Madison, Wisconsin a.k.a. Zola Jesus was…wow, this blonde goth girl is so young and tiny. All that gets thrown aside once I heard her powerful voice which sounds beautiful, confident and haunting all at the same time. The girl is no joke. At her recent performance at Other Music (15 E. 4th St. in New York City) Zola Jesus was accompanied by a guitarist and sometimes stood on a milk crate to perhaps get a better look at the crowd that came to see her. She belted out about half a dozen of her doom and gloom songs which showcased her visceral voice amidst a wave of synthesizers, fuzzed out guitars and loud beats. There was little stage banter, if any…she was down to business. During her last song she walked into the crowd and eventually ended up on top of the counter by the cash register and ended her set with a loud shriek. I shouldn’t have been standing so close to the speakers. After her performance, she stuck around…happily chatting with friends and fans.

Her recent EP titled “Stidulum” on Sacred Bones Records is a decent serving of dark, lo-fi songs about love and heartbreak. At first listen, it was a little hard to differentiate between the tracks. They’re all similar sounding, but that isn’t a bad thing…all the songs blend well together as a whole. My favorite track is “trust me” and there is no doubt Zola Jesus has a lot more to offer and I look forward to what she does next.


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