Zola – real name Nika Roza Danilova – is an up-and-coming singer and multi-instrumentalist who seems almost too good to be true. At the tender age of 21 she’s already released a striking debut album (The Spoils) not to mention an incredible split 12″ with cult doom-merchant Burial Hex. Her music combines the theatricality and stormy romanticism of classic goth with an open-ended, artfully distorted musical language that seems to draw inspiration from a wide array of influences, including dub, shoegaze, noise and 70s psychedelia. Not long after unleashing her Stridulum EP, she’s now teamed up with LA Vampires – AKA former Pocahaunted member Amanda Brown.
Brown’s recent output has been no less exhilarating and hard to pigeonhole than Zola’s: her kaleidoscopic contribution to a recent split LP with Psychic Reality was really quite something – a heavily compressed gumbo of digital reggae rhythms, wheeling voodoo horns and deliriously looped vocal layers that you really need to check out (not so hot on the Psychic Reality side, but you can’t have everything).
The new Zola Jesus & LA Vampires 12″ comes courtesy of the ever-reliable Not Not Fun label, which has previously released records from the likes of Ducktails, Sun Araw and Dolphins Into The Future. It’s due out on vinyl on July 5, and is a fitfully mind-blowing combination of windswept goth melody, crunchy drum machine rhythms and, incredibly, a strung-out cover of Dawn Penn’s immortal reggae vocal ‘No No No’, every single element smothered in reverb throughout. It’s not the easiest of listens, but for adventurous ears this will surely rank among one of the most desirable and rewarding 12″s of the year. The LP is already available digitally; check out clips here.
1. Bone Is Bloodstone
2. In The Desert
5. Looking In
7. No No No