Zola Jesus: music review


Last spring Zola Jesus performed with a string quartet at New York’s Guggenheim museum. In order to prepare she teamed up with legendary experimental composer JG Thirlwell (Foetus). Versions is a collection of nine classic Zola Jesus songs re-arranged for that performance and captured in the recording studio with the Mivos string quartet.

When “Avalanche” started playing I felt like a chord was being ripped through my heart. Painful in a good way. Sadness that pulls and pushes you in every imaginable direction. Haunting beauty. On “Fall Back” Zola Jesus repeats “I’d do anything to be the one with you” with raspy, feverish vocals that matches the increasing intensity of the strings. With “Sea Talk” the music ebbs and flows along with Zola’s vocals. Her voice shifts from temperate to more potent at various points. The emotionally charged “Collapse” showcases Zola’s vocal range with this darker, slower song.

Without a string accompaniment, Zola possesses an emotionality that cannot be ignored. She possesses such a commanding voice brimming with zeal that pushes through the layers and connects you to her music. A string quartet adds an additional emotional element. The exquisite unusual arrangements aren’t overwhelming. It all works in magnificent harmony. This is such a special project where modernity flawlessly complements classical stylings.

Sacred Bones Records
available August 20, 2013

purchase at Amazon: Versions

TOUR DATES [with a string quartet]

Sep 12 Philadelphia, PA – International House
Sep 13 Boston, MA – Institute Contemporary Art Boston
Sep 14 Brooklyn, NY- Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral
Sep 22 Saint Paul, MN – St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
Sep 26 San Francisco, CA – Palace of Fine Arts
Sep 27 Hollywood, CA – Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever – early (Sold Out)
Sep 27 Hollywood, CA – Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever – late (On Sale Now) Buy Tickets
Sep 28 Seattle, WA – The Triple Door
Oct 03 London – Tabernacle Buy Tickets
Oct 04 Paris – Café de la Danse Buy Tickets
Oct 05 Berlin – Hau1 Buy Tickets
Oct 24 Chicago, IL – Garfield Park Conservatory
Oct 25 Washington, DC – Hirshhorn Museum
Oct 26 Asheville, NC – Mountain Oasis


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