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Zola Jesus Rising

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Eclectic Madison Musician Releases New EP

It's not often that you get a chance to see Madison's hottest export, Zola Jesus, do a local show. The 20-year-old Nika Roza Danilova (aka Zola Jesus) has quite a buzz building around her new EP "Stridulum" due out March 9th on the New York-based Sacred Bones Label. The first track "Night" premiered on Pitchfork two weeks ago. Brooklyn Vegan likewise did a feature and listed tour dates including the Saturday night release party at The Project Lodge.

Besides studying French and Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin Madison, the operatic-trained singer has the uncanny ability to draw you into her dark atmospheric world of sound. We like Zola Jesus because she represents what Madison is all about; adventurous; a risk taker; not afraid to be different.

Zola Jesus - Night

To make Saturday night even more interesting, Julian Lynch and Sonmi will also be on the bill at The Project Lodge! Three of our favorite artists together on the same evening. We caught up with Nika as she finished a gig in Milan, Italy, performing at a private party for designer Angelos Frentzos, during Fashion Week!  

Tell us about the new EP Stridulum. How did the songs come together?  Was the recording approach different on this EP than your last album release?

The EP was a really rushed process. I had about only a month to conceptualize, write, and record everything, since we wanted it to be out before SXSW. I had to put a lot of faith in instinct and not over-think so much. But in the end I believe it worked for the best. It's really a very genuine, innate piece of work. My grandfather passed away while I was making this record so that also played a part in the feel of the songs.

What other artists play with you on the new EP?

No one but myself. My friend Alex DeGroot helped record my vocals, and mix the songs, but I created everything, as I do with all Zola Jesus songs.

How did the entire Milan gig happen? Did you play with anyone else at the show? That had to be an incredible experience!

I am in Milan right now actually. I got an email from my publicist saying a designer was interested in having me play at his event during Fashion Week. The performance was at a club called PLASTIC. I was the only performer. It was a very different vibe from my usual shows (I usually don't play at discotheques) but everyone was incredible and the crowd was so into it. It was fantastic.

We’ve been listening to your side project Nika and Rory. Any plans on releasing  the material via an album or EP?

For sure. We've had some offers but we're not ready to put anything out yet. We're still writing songs and perfecting the old ones and taking it slow. No rush!

Zola Jesus Tour Dates

March
06 - Madison, WI - Project Lodge (w/ Sonmi, Julian Lynch)
13 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen (17+ w/ Beau Wanzer, Fielded)
17-21 - Austin, TX - SXSW (various performances throughout the week – more info to come soon!)
31 - Los Angeles, CA - Echo Curio

April
03 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall (w/ Xiu Xiu, Tune Yards, Talk Normal)
09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom (w/ Xiu Xiu, Tune Yards)
10 - Purchase, NY - Purchase College

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Rock of the Arts

Club Crawl

Cerebral Ballzy
w/ Direct Hit
The Frequency
Tues, Sept 16

Communion Showcase:
w/ Jessica Lea Mayfield
Crash, Oh, My Love!
The Frequency
Wed, Sept. 17

Black Lips
w/ The King Khan & BBQ Show, The Hussy
High Noon Saloon
Thur, Sept. 18
 
Spoon
w/ EMA
Orpheum Theater
Thur, Sept. 18

Live on King Street
w/ The Head & the Heart,
Bare Mutants,
Count This Penny
100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Fri, Sept. 19 (Free!) 

Lee Fields and the Expressions
w/ Spirit Family Reunion
Majestic Theatre
Fri, Sept. 19 (Inside)

The War on Drugs
w/ Califone
Majestic Theatre
Sat, Sept. 20

Kongos
w/ Young Rising Sons
and the Sharrows
Shannon Hall - Union Theater
Sun, Sept. 21

Justin Townes Earle
w/ American Aquarium
Barrymore Theatre
Wed, Sept. 24 

Carolina Chocolate Drops
Stoughton Opera House
Show # 1
Thurs, Sept. 25
 
Carolina Chocolate Drops
Stoughton Opera House
Show # 2
Fri, Sept. 26

Twin Peaks
w/ NE-HI, The Liqs
& Varsity
The Frequency
Fri, Sept. 26

Panda Bear
w/ Blues Control
Majestic Theatre
Sat, Sept. 27

Tim & Eric
w/ Dr. Steve Brule
Barrymore Theatre
Sat, Sept. 27 (sold-out!)

The Wood Brothers
w/ Chris Kasper
Stoughton Opera House
Thur, Oct. 2

Shovels & Rope
w/ John Fulbright
Barrymore Theater
Sun, Oct. 5

Of Montreal
w/ Pillar Point
Majestic Theatre
Sun, Oct. 5

PAWS (Glasgow)
w/ Total Slacker
and Flashlights
Der Rathskeller
Fri, Oct. 10 (Free!)

Pixies
w/ Royal Blood
Orpheum Theater
Sun, Oct. 12

S. Carey
w/ Vic & Gab
Majestic Theatre
Tues, Oct. 14

Delta Spirit
w/ Sacco
Barrymore Theater
Wed,, Oct. 15

Communion Showcase:
w/ Field Report,
Water Liars,
The Whigs
The Frequency
Wed, Oct. 15

Meat Puppets
& Cass McCombs
High Noon Saloon
Wed, Oct. 22

Dum Dum Girls
w/ Ex Cops
High Noon Saloon
Thur, Oct. 23

POND
High Noon Saloon
Fri. Oct 24

We Were Promised Jet Packs
w/ The Twilight Sad
Majestic Theatre
Sat. Oct. 25

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