zola-jesus

Brooding, enveloping, challenging. These are the words you anticipate using after inhabiting the much-extolled macabre world of Zola Jesus. But ‘Taiga’ is something of a rebirth, a comparatively accessible listen that by her own admission feels like her “true debut”. Of course, it’s not that those plaudit-winning traits are absent from fourth studio album ‘Taiga’, but there’s a glossy touch throughout, from the demure cover art to the brassy synth that drives ‘Hunger’ (honestly, it could be the intro to Beyonce’s latest empowerment anthem).

‘Go (Blank Sea)’ treads a similar plank, with a refrain that flirts with the idea of being as unabashed as Icona Pop, but Nika Roza Danilova’s vocal is shrouded in enough mysterious atmospherics to keep it from diving off into the FM deep. Similarly, mass-appeal and morbidity collide beautifully on ‘Ego’ and ‘Lawless’, with the latter’s post-chorus strings coming on like a laudably morose Carly Rae Jepsen. It’s a thin line that ‘Taiga’ treads, but it proves to be liberating for both artist and audience.

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