Zola Jesus – Conatus
Conatus is mainly built from thundering toms, majestically revolving synthesizers, and warm courses of classical stringed instruments. “I kept having these primal images”, Nika Roza Danilova said of her new album, “just quite strange landscapes and shapes I couldn’t shake.” That may sound like a meaningless gloss, but on “Swords”, the minute-long opening track, you can hear exactly what she means.
With her background in opera, one can hear how she challenges the norms of perfectly executed notes in terms of a classically trained perspective – to much of my delight. The Zola Jesus project is something brand new from someone incredibly young and from her collaboration with M83 on the “Intro” song in “Hurry up, We’re Dreaming” one can see she is destined to grow as a musician. Her indecipherable lyrics at points puts the ear and mind to work as one tries to figure out what she is saying, this is none the clearer in “Vessel” which might also just be the most formidable song on the album. Conatus has a broody yet sensual feel to it and if I had to compare it to any other album it would be Bjork’s “Homogenic”.
The restraint of the beats makes you feel like you want to get up and dance yet stay seated and allow the music to swirl like a whirl wind in and around your aural anatomy. Keep your eye on this one, its gong to become really big!<