ZOLA JESUS: Lost

That feeling when one of the singers you adore so much comes back with new music; there’s truly nothing quite like it. The first time I heard Zola Jesus, was actually the song she did as Nika + Rory. The song was I’m Not Going Anywhere. I played it almost religiously. I then heard Nika’s work as Zola Jesus when brought out The Spoils, and that was it. My obsession was blooming and I didn’t want it any other way.

There are a few bands/singers that just stick with you, and the any announcement of new music from them just immediately hits you right in the heart and you feel alive again. Since 2009 I’ve had this admiration and love for Nika and all she creates. I cannot think of anyone else who does what she does, who makes the sounds she does, who has a mind like hers. She’s the only one, and let’s be honest- there won’t ever be anyone else like her ever again. Her voice is so haunting and so comforting. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve bawled my eyes out to some of her songs, but my god there are songs that just give you this euphoric feeling and nothing can come close to it.

Lost is the new single, and is taken from Nika’s new record Arkhon which is out 20th May via one of the best labels ever- Sacred Bones. If you’re a fan of Nika/Zola Jesus, you know exactly what to expect but at the same time you are ready to be thrown into the deep unknown. Lost is such a beautiful and open song, and so easy to connect with. We all feel lost. Some of us feel it more than others, some of us are just constantly lost. For some, it may be all we know. But it’s a feeling that so many can connect with; and the way Nika writes about it here is just divine and right to the core.

The percussion, the sound of breathing (at the start- I think) it’s got this reassuring feel to it. The start sounds like a panic attack coming on (something I know far too well) but then everything calms down, and you are centred. Everything is okay, and you feel reassured again. There’s something about that chaotic feeling of being lost that allows you to just go at your own pace and eventually find what you need. I think that’s something we probably need to cling on to more than we care to admit.

The video for Lost is stunning. It will leave you breathless and just in awe of this magnificent creation. It sums up the feel of the song so well, and it is shot in the most gorgeous way imaginable. I don’t want to write too much about the video; I want you to take some time out of your day to watch the video. Maybe a couple of times in a row, and just take it all in. The song is a masterpiece and if the whole record has this feel to it, then I think we may have found the most beautifully put together record of the year.

MADONNATRON: Musica alla Puttanesca.

tron

 

As an Italian, I obviously love the name of the new Madonnatron record. As a music lover, I am obsessed with the Tron. They are one of the most exciting bands around, and if you’re someone who likes your music to be beautifully odd and different- the Tron after for you. This is their second record, and it sounds like a band well into their career. When a band are so sure of their sound, it just makes you love them more than you already did.

The record opens with a slight disco number, Goodnight Little Empire which is such a great way to open a record. What I adore about Madonnatron is that they mess around with all music styles, and make it their own. This whole record is s mash-up of any and everything, and it is just divine. How is this their second record? It sounds like something a band that have been together for decades would make. It’s a solid record that just lifts you up. Music wise, this record is strong and vocally- it’s yet another masterpiece. There is so much growth on this record, and it smacks you immediately on the first song.

Musica all Puttanesca is 11 songs of sheer joy. You cannot help but feel good when you listen to these songs, even if there are a couple of sad elements, the general feel of this record is just blissful and uplifting. I’m not even going to make any comparisons to their debut record; there’s really no point in doing so, because it’s totally different in the best way possible. What I love about Madonnatron is that they aren’t afraid to push their limits. Anything they do is never a repeat of what they have done before, and all great bands do this. A lot of bands I love take this approach, and it’s such a brilliant thing to hear. You don’t want to keep hearing the same songs over and over, and the Tron most certainly are one of the most exciting bands around.

 

 

In just 45 minutes, the Tron blow you away on this record yet again. Songs like Liminal and Sucker Punch are just made to be heard live (I really hope they do them on the tour this month!) and I’m just so excited that I finally get to see them live soon. I should have seen them many times whilst living in London, but something (mainly my panic attacks) got in the way. I guess you have to push through what your minds turns you against at times, right? This is a record that can be played in any order, and every song will hit you again with new reasons to fall in love with it. 2 minutes 40 seconds in Liminal feels like a religious chant or something, it’s like The Shangri-Las meets The Slits in a way. For me, that’s a sound I get quite a bit off this record, and again- it’s another reason to adore it.

Let’s get into the heavier songs for a sec. Superhands is raw, it’s rough, it’s brutal and snarly. It’s the one you play extra loud, it’s the one you absolutely scream back at the band if they play it live. Hell, if they don’t- just belt it out in the comfort of your room, or even on public transport. Get everyone involved with the Tron! Superhands right now is my favourite song off the record, but that’s because I’m needing heavier sounds at the moment, but I’ll change my mind with every listen because there’s no way you can pick just one favourite. No way.

Flesh Pond and Sucker Punch are two other songs I really hope they play live, because there is something in these songs that just makes you move and feel totally untouchable. There’s an unconventional Pop sound in Sucker Punch. I know most turn their nose up at Pop, but that’s because Pop music now is crap (for the most part) but this has something really sincere and pure about it. Sucker Punch is a great song, and it’s slowly creeping up as first place for me at the moment. I adore the vocals on this one, for me this is my highlight vocally. I love how their voices come together and just create this gang-like, almost ritualistic chant. I love that, and I love how powerful this song is and how the vocals really give this song that extra push. I could listen to it on repeat forever, and never get tired. It sounds like something that would be in a really cool superhero film where the hero (actually, heroine) is unexpected/not who or what you think. It’s a powerful song for many reasons. One listen isn’t enough.

Blue Pill has an early 90s Suede/Elastica feel to it, and I guess that’s why I love it so. It’s got something about it that is so dreamy and ethereal. It’s one of those songs you listen to, and just escape the world for a while. You let them take you elsewhere on this, and the world that Madonnatron have created on this record just makes you never want to come back down to earth from. They take you to another world, and this world is unconventional and beautiful.

 

 

Musica alla Puttanesca is an eerie and wonderful record that will spook you in the most captivating way imaginable. Nightmare In Silver is a Halloween jam. Play it all the time mind, don’t limit yourself! It’s a record that you play an insane amount of times, and just get blown away with every listen. I can’t help but fall in love with it every time I listen to it. I’ve had it on repeat the past few days, and I’m pretty sure my brain is currently made up of Madonnatron lyrics/songs. It’s not a bad thing at all. It’s probably better than what usually goes on! (I’m probably thinking about naps, cats, my girlfriend and when I can have a nap…repeat.)

The mighty Tron are heading out on tour in a few weeks. Get your tickets here: https://madonnatron.com/shows.php