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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

Tedeschi Trucks Band
w/ The Sharrows
Orpheum Theater
Sat, March 28

CYMBALS EAT GUITARS
w/ Split Single,
Julian Lynch
The Frequency
Mon, March 30

Bleachers
w/ Joywave,
Night Terrors of 1927
Majestic Theatre
Tue, March 31

Belle and Sebastian
w/ Honeyblood
Overture Hall
Sat, April 4

The Pines
w/ Hayward Williams
High Noon Saloon
Sat, April 4

Ultimate Painting
w/ Heaters
The Frequency
Mon, April 6

Polica
w/ Pony Bwoy
Cactus Club (Milw)
Tues, April 7 (sold out!)

FOXYGEN
w/ Alex Cameron
The Sett - Union South
Fri, April 10 (Free!)

Joe Pug
w/ Field Report (solo)
High Noon Saloon
Fri, April 10

Reptar
w/ Icky Blossoms
The Frequency
Fri, April 10

Dolores
w/ Mutts,
Cowboy Winter
& Little Legend
High Noon Saloon
Sat, April 11

Mr. Gnome
w/ Bron Sage
The Frequency
Sat, April 11

Twin Shadow
w/ Erik Hassle
Majestic Theatre
Tue, April 14

Kodak to Graph
w/ Big Wild,
Obeson
The Frequency
Wed, April 15

Chuck Prophet
& The Mission Express
w/ Nick Brown
High Noon Saloon
Wed, April 15

Shana Falana (NYC), 
w/ Modern Mod,
Oh My Love
Mickey's tavern
Thu, April 16 (Free!)

The Soft Moon
w/ Noveller
The Frequency
Fri, April 17

PELE
w/ Golden Donna
Cactus Club (Milw)
Sat, April 18

Diarrhea Planet
w/ Lee Bains
& the Glory Fires,
Fire Retarded
High Noon Saloon
Wed, April 22

Six Organs of
Admittance
w/ Elisa Ambrosia
The Frequency
Wed, April 22

Sufjan Stevens
w/ Little Scream
Riverside Theater
Thu, April 23

Hiss Golden Messenger
w/ Phil Cook (Megafaun)
High Noon Saloon
Thu, April 23 

Max Jury
w/ SALES,
Bonzie
The Frequency
Thu, April 23 

JAMES MCMURTRY
w/ Max Gomez
High Noon Saloon
Friday, April 24

Lord Huron
w/ Leon Bridges
Pabst Theater
Sat, April 25

Caroline Smith
w/ Vic and Gab
High Noon Saloon
Sat, April 25

Rhiannon Giddens
w/ Bhi Bhiman
Capitol Theater
Mon, April 27

Hurray For The
Riff Raff
w/ Daniel Romano
High Noon Saloon
Thu, April 30

Speedy Ortiz
w/ Krill, 
Two Inch Astronaut
The Frequency
Fri, May 1

The Replacements
w/ TBA
Eagles Ballroom (Milw)
Sat, May 2

Revelry Fest
w/ Chance the Rapper,
The Chainsmokers,
Alunageorge, Mick Jenkins,
Nick Hakim + More!
Library Mall
Sat, May 2 

Death Cab for Cutie
w/ The Antlers
Riverside Theater
Mon, May 4

Vetiver
w/ Eric D. Johnson
The Frequency
Thu, May 7

Bop English
(from White Denim)
w/ TBA
The Frequency
Fri, May 8

Pianos Become The Teeth
w/ Loma Prieta,
Gates
Cactus Club (Milw)
Fri, May 8

Tame Impala
w/ Mini Mansions
Riverside Theater
Thu, May 14

Dan Deacon
w/ Prince Rama,
Ben O’Brien
High Noon Saloon
Fri, May 15

METZ and FIDLAR
High Noon Saloon
Sat, May 23

Surfer Blood
w/ TBA
The Frequency
Sun, May 24

ST. VINCENT
w/ Sarah Neufeld
of Arcade Fire
Orpheum Theater
Tue, May 26

Built to Spill
w/ Wooden Indian
Burial Ground
High Noon Saloon
Tue, May 26

Archie Powell
& The Exports
w/ Heavy Looks,
Little Legend
The Frequency
Fri, May 29
 
Royal Blood
w/ Mini Mansions
High Noon Saloon
Sun, May 31

Father John Misty
w/ TBA
Pabst Theater
Sun, May 31

CJ Ramone 
& Shonen Knife
w/ TBA
Cactus Club (Milw)
Tues, June 9

Kate Tempest
w/ TBA
High Noon Saloon
Mon, Jun 15

Iceage
w/ Low Life
High Noon Saloon
Sun, Jun 21

Eaux Claires
Music & Arts Festival

feat. Bon Iver,
The National, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens
+ more
Foster Farms - Eau Claire
July 17 & 18

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