On the Floor

Zola Jesus (DJ Set) at Detroit City Airport

54 minsRecorded 8 Sep 2018 in Detroit
Jacob Mulka

The Russian-American queen of distorted ballads presents a special DJ set to celebrate ADULT.’s new album release.

With a childhood spent quite literally in the middle of nowhere, Nika Roza Danilova channeled her isolation into escapist yearnings. Her first experiments on a four-track recorder — with space only for her layered vocals, basic instrumentation and a rhythm track derived from jangling keys or thrashing on pots — convinced the good folks at Sacred Bones to secure her the first Zola Jesus 7” release at the tender age of 18. Subsequently, she’s developed a unique formula that bundles her classically trained vocal theatrics, philosophy-informed songwriting and goth and art-rock leanings into a haunting pop template. This play on formal opposites also inspired her moniker, which is a compound of naturalist writer Émile Zola and bold Christian symbolism. By her mid-20s she had mixed a melting pot of transgressive underground sensibilities with a classical aesthetic and state-of-the-art pop production on a handful of full-length records for Sacred Bones, Souterrain Transmissions and Mute Records.

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