Foghorn-voiced chanteuse Zola Jesus has had a terrible time with death and loss recently so retreated to the woods near her childhood home to create this personal snapshot of loss and sympathy borne out of her experiences. It's fair to say that "Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey" this is not but instead a bleak meditation on tragedy.
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- SBR184LPC1 / Limited coloured vinyl LP on Sacred Bones. Includes bonus 'Now We Rise and We Are Everywhere' Sacred Bones sampler CD
- Includes download code
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7/10 Clinton Staff review, 05 September 2017
That foghorn. That voice. Hated by microphones across the universe - Zola Jesus is nothing if not full on. I'm listening to a track here called 'Exhumed' which has already had enormous orchestral stabs, voices like the sound of a million piece choir, growling sub bass and drumming that sounds like the whole of Africa is hitting something at the same time. I'm bloody worn out.
I like Zola Jesus but I was particularly into Stridulum II which just hot the gothic rock slab unnervingly accurately to these ears. Some of her music since has been 'a bit much' but there's moments here I'm really enjoying. 'Soak' benefits from the sort of melody that Zola Jesus's music needs in order to lighten the unrelenting bleakness. 'Ash to Bone' reduces things back a bit to Stridulum levels with those impressive circling curlicues of vocals wrapping themselves around dark cello tones whilst 'Witness' starts to show what Zola Jesus could to if she calmed down a bit. It has gentle strings and for once a restrained vocal but careful what you wish for. How far is this actually from an X Factor weeper?
Having seen what could happen if she strips things back too much I'm happy for Zola Jesus to continue making an intense racket. There are moments here which remind me of why I like her and some bits that are a little...how you say? Euro-goth. Still, my ears are now perfectly cleansed.
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