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Romanticism with Zola Jesus

By Vanessa Krystin Wong

Drowned in heartwrenching drones and orchestral tremolos comes the majestic Zola Jesus – an artist who has pushed the boundaries of American music. Her chromatic songs carry gothic layers of classical and industrial tendencies, hindering on experimental, yet brought together by her vocal prowess. In creating her latest release TAIGA, she took to the isolated island of Vashon, Washington and locked herself away in the wilderness for nine months with no internet or civilisation. This shows her ambition and passion towards her artistry that has been compared to Sia and Fever Ray. Her sound carries the trends of European alternative pop that is few and far between in the North American airwaves.

When in discussion about pop music, Zola Jesus believes “the thing about pop that’s so seductive is that it is the western world’s music. If you turn on the radio and want to listen to music, and you’re not a music fan, that’s what you listen to. So it has this immense power to affect you. That’s the opportunity, and it’s being wasted on songs with no message, just escapism. Again that’s a really obvious thing to say, but it would be really nice if you could turn on the radio and it would be nutritious. I still have hope that that will happen.” For her, artists such as Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, Brat Mobile, Riot Grrrl, Bjork and Kate Bush embody strong creative women that follow the trend of nutritious music.

Just listening to any of her songs, you can hear conflicting influences and ideas behind each lyric. In describing this, she explains that “everything I do is a reflection of the duality within me. Musically, I really love things that are very synthetic and unnatural. And I also like the organic and human… the intrinsic, I guess. I always try to reconcile the dichotomy between the two and make it into something that is unique.” Her songs create a romanticism of grandiose atmospheres and overwhelming sounds that are indescribable in a way. The attraction to minor keys and ambigious lyrics can be compared to “when you fall in love [and] you become weak. It’s kind of psycho, but feeling like falling in love is an amazing, incredible feeling… but at the same time, you are giving into something. Falling in love is like falling under a spell” and we have definitely fallen under hers.

 

Zola Jesus performs live at VENUE on January 10th alongside Deradoorian and Golden Donna.

By Vanessa Krystin Wong

events calendar

 November
 
Nov 19   Julia Jacklin   Venue
Nov 21   Flipped Scripts 'Friends' Drag Show   Venue
Nov 22   BIG Fun pres: Zack Fox   Fortune
Nov 22   Eugene Mirman   Venue
Nov 22   MANILA GREY   Fortune
Nov 23   Jena Friedman   Venue
Nov 30   Mount Eerie   Christ Church Cathedral
Nov 30   SAINt JHN   Venue
 
 December
 
Dec 1   Mount Eerie   Alix Goolden
Dec 5   Rich the Kid   Venue
Dec 6   Kamaal Williams   Fortune
Dec 6   The Chainsmokers   Rogers Arena
Dec 7   Channel Tres   Celebrities
Dec 12   Ryan Caraveo (All Ages)   Fortune
Dec 19   Cartel Madras   Fortune
Dec 20   Lil Keed (All Ages)   Venue
Dec 29   DāmFunk, Nosaj Thing & Machinedrum   Fortune
 
 January
 
Jan 20   Rex Orange County   PNE Forum
 
 February
 
Feb 7   Goth Babe   Fortune
Feb 15   Dijon   Fortune
Feb 18   METRONOMY   Commodore
Feb 20   Sudan Archives   Fortune
 
 March
 
Mar 7   Marc E. Bassy   Fortune
Mar 12   Grieves and The Holdup   Fortune
Mar 13   EVAN GIIA   Fortune
Mar 21   Brent Faiyaz   Commodore
Mar 27   Allen Stone   Commodore
 
 April
 
Apr 4   Elohim (All Ages)   Venue
Apr 17   Poliça   Venue