It’s a bit late, but it’s here: brief reviews of new acquisitions and long-forgotten albums from my collection. I did lose a small portion of our digital archive due to hard drive failure, but everything has since been replaced. Let’s begin by going over a couple of new releases.
Zola Jesus — Arkhon (June 2022)
“There is a way a voice can cut through the fascia of reality, cleaving through habit into the raw nerve of experience. Nika Roza Danilova, the singer, songwriter, and producer who since 2009 has released music as Zola Jesus, wields a voice that does that. When you hear it, it is like you are being summoned — not to somewhere new, but to a place that’s already wrapped inside you, somewhere previously obscured from conscious experience. This place has been buried because it tends to hold pain, but it’s also a gift, because once it’s opened, once you’re inside of it, it can show you the truth. Zola Jesus’s new album, Arkhon, finds new ways of losing that submerged, stalled pain.” — from Bandcamp’s description of this album.
Arkhon is the rare album bringing together pop music, goth rock, and industrial influences in such a way that it brings together fans of seemingly opposing genres of pop music and metal. Nika emerged from the fog and layers of effects present in her early albums (Stridulum II and Corvus) and presents a clean, well-produced album that’s both more accessible than any previous album with the possible exception of Taiga. Nika fortunately doesn’t abandon her roots as she did with Taiga.
This might be her best album objectively, and with each passing listen it’s slowly becoming mine!
Flightless Birds Take Wing — Taking Flight EP (June 2022)
The duo Marike and Madeleine released this quite niche album last month. Fusing jazz, ambient, and field recordings together would often create a difficult-to-listen-to fringe avant-garde album. Not here! Complex and…