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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

 January
 
Jan 20   Rex Orange County   PNE Forum
 
 February
 
Feb 6   Autograf   Fortune
Feb 7   Goth Babe   Fortune
Feb 15   Dijon   Fortune
Feb 16   Lil Fest  
Feb 18   METRONOMY   Commodore
Feb 19   Lund and guccihighwaters   Fortune
Feb 25   Rapsody   Fortune
Feb 28   Black Belt Eagle Scout   Fortune
Feb 29   Black Belt Eagle Scout (Vic)   Lucky Bar
 
 March
 
Mar 7   Marc E. Bassy   Fortune
Mar 12   Grieves and The Holdup   Fortune
Mar 13   EVAN GIIA   Fortune
Mar 14   Dorian Electra   Fortune
Mar 21   Brent Faiyaz   Commodore
Mar 21   Flora Cash   Fortune
Mar 27   Allen Stone   Commodore
Mar 27   Sasha Sloan (All Ages)   Fortune
 
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Apr 4   Elohim (All Ages)   Venue
Apr 4   Yves Tumor   Fortune
Apr 6   Audrey Mika - All Ages   Fortune
Apr 17   Poliça   Venue
 
 May
 
May 28   Louis The Child (All Ages)   Malkin Bowl
May 28   NoMBe: The 'Chromatopia' Tour   Venue
May 29   Windhand   Venue
 
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Jun 4   Shallou   Commodore