2014 Artist Survey: Zola Jesus

Nika Roza Danilova on 2014's Best Albums, the Director She'd Most Like to Work With, and How Technology is Harmful

Feb 03, 2015 Issue #52 - January/February 2015 - St. Vincent
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For Under the Radar's 12th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2014. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2014 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions.

Check out our Best of 2014 print and digital issues for answers from alt-J, Camera Obscura, Chromeo, The Dears, Death From Above 1979, Deerhoof, The Drums, The Flaming Lips, Glass Animals, Hookworms, Sondre Lerche, of Montreal, Ought, Owen Pallett, The Rosebuds, Still Corners, Strand of Oaks, Teleman, Sharon Van Etten, The War on Drugs, Warpaint, Woman's Hour, Wye Oak, and others.

Here are some answers from Nika Roza Danilova (aka Zola Jesus).

[This interview first ran in Issue 52, the Best of 2014 and January/February 2015 Issue, which is still on newsstands.]

Top 10 Albums of 2014 

1. Run the Jewels: Run the Jewels 2-I'm a fan of both Killer Mike and El-P, and it is so exciting to see them create some of their most confident and brazen work together. 

2. M.E.S.H.: Scythians EP-I've been obsessed with this EP ever since it came out earlier [in 2014]. For an EP, it feels so fully formed and pretty much flawless.

3. Dave Phillips: Burn-Dave Phillips' newest work, centered around mobility, is as conceptual and varied as ever. Incredibly visceral stuff.

4. Ben Frost: A U R O R A-So much energy and life in this album. I love how he makes the synthetic feel alive and the organic feel robotic. 

5. Rudolf Eb.er: Brainnectar-Such a disorienting and transformative record to listen to. I love the inclusion of Junko Hiroshige's vocals. 

7. Sd Laika: That's Harakiri-One of those records that you can't really place. It's menacing in a punk way, but with firm roots in electronic, yet too abstract to be considered dance. Very exciting debut from this new producer.

8. Tanya Tagaq: Animism-Another great effort from Tanya Tagaq. I'll love just about anything she puts outs. She gets better and more realized with each release. 

9. Olga Bell: Krai-One of the most interesting and conceptually impressive records to come out this year. Each song is an ode to a different part of Russia, Bell's homeland. It feels fresh and dreamlike.

10. Arca: Xen-I love the unpredictability of this record. You never know what is going to come next with the sonics. 


What was the highlight of 2014 for either you personally or for the band? 

Making my new album, Taiga

What was the low point of 2014 for you? 

Dealing with the emotional consequences of trusting my instincts. 

What are your hopes and plans for 2015?

Tour, tour, tour. Go to places I've never been before.

Which well-known filmmaker would you most like to direct one of your music videos?

David Cronenberg.

Do you ever long for the days before the Internet and cell phones? If so, what do you think has been the worst side effect of those technologies?

Technology disables us. We have created a synthetic infrastructure that harms us more than it helps. We are only safe so long as the womb of technology remains unpunctured. When the day should come where it all breaks down, our defenses will be softened and useless in the real world.

www.zolajesus.com

 

 



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