June 29, 2011

Song Review: Zola Jesus' "Vessel"

Since her arrival onto the scene, Nika Danilova a.k.a. Zola Jesus has amassed quite a catalog in a short amount of time. Among the many rewards of this has been hearing Dinolova's style shift away from dark and haunting lo-fi balladry on 2009's The Spoils to effervescent goth pop on last year's double-whammy of EPs, Stridulum and Velusia. Now on pace to releasing a new body of work each year, 2010's Best New Artist here on AwkwardSound is returning with her sophomore effort, Conatus. The album's first offering, "Vessel," again hints at another growth spurt by Zola Jesus, harboring Danilova's emotions in a chamber of post-Reznor electronica and a burly piano resonating behind it all. As her voice trips over itself in "Vessel"'s beginning moments, it's evident Danilova has been working hard to retool the scope of her vocal range -- a move which should hopefully silence all those Siouxie Sioux comparisons once and for all. While last year's EPs hinted that Danilova was tip-toeing her way toward the dance floor, this track cools the fire with a sinister, futuristic pulse line beat that cuts its way through Danilova's hypnotic siren call. Zola Jesus hasn't lost touch with her brooding lovelorn spirit here on "Vessel," but the song reintroduces the songstress as a radiance that's found a way to crack through the darkness and still keep it an arm's length away.

Zola Jesus - "Vessel"

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