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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

Tarpaulin
w/ Fury Things
Dash Hounds
Mickey's Tavern
Fri, Feb. 12 (Free!)

Dianne Coffee
w/ Barbara Hans
Union South - The Sett
Sat, Feb. 13 (Free!)

Metric
w/ Joywave
Orpheum Theater
Sat, Feb. 13

PROF
w/ Mike Mictlan,
Mac Irv, Crashprez
Majestic Theatre
Sat, Feb. 13

Rayland Baxter
w/ Margaret Glaspy
The Frequency
Sat, Feb. 13
 
Chris Bathgate
w/ The Go Rounds,
Anna Vogelzang
The Frequency
Sun, Feb. 14
 
The Hussy
w/ Trampoline Team,
Proud Parents
High Noon Saloon
Wed, Feb. 17

El Ten Eleven
w/ Shallow
Majestic Theatre
Thu, Feb. 18

Futurebirds
w/ Blank Range
High Noon Saloon
Thu, Feb. 18

Brett Newski
w/ Tiny Riots
The Frequency
Fri, Feb. 19

LIZZO
w/ DJ Sopia Eris
feat. Cavanaugh
Majestic Theatre
Fri, Feb. 19

Cloud Cult
w/ BBGUN
Barrymore Theatre
Sat, Feb 20 
 
Jukebox the Ghost
w/ The Family Crest
Majestic Theatre
Tues, Feb. 23

Twin Peaks
w/ Uh Bones,
The Rashita Joneses
The Frequency
Wed, Feb 24

Bongzilla
w/ Black Cobra,
Lo-Pan,
Against the Grain
High Noon Saloon
Fri, Feb 26 

Family and Friends
w/ The Wells Division
The Frequency
Fri, Feb 26

Dale Watson &
His Lone Stars
High Noon Saloon
Wed, March 2

Damsel Trash
CD Release Party!
w/ Screamin' Cyn Cyn & The Pons, Skizzwhores
The Frequency
Sat, March 5

Basia Bulat
w/ The Weather Station
High Noon Saloon
Wed, March 9

Tortoise
w/ Mind Over Mirrors
Majestic Theatre
Thu, March 10

Protomartyr
w/ Fire Retarded,
Luggage
The Frequency
Sun, March 13

Mount Moriah
w/ Elephant Micah
High Noon Saloon
Sun, March 20

CHON
w/ Polyphia,
Strawberry Girls
The Frequency
Wed, March 23

SIMO
w/ The Glorious Sons
High Noon Saloon
Thu, March 24

Cullen Omori
(ex Smith Westerns)
w/ Living Hour
High Noon Saloon
Fri, March 25

Acid Mothers Temple
w/ Mounds, Moss Folk
The Frequency
Mon, March 28

The Lone Bellow
WI Union Theater
(Shannon Hall)
Wed, March 30

Yuck
w/ Big Thief
High Noon Saloon
Tue, April 5

LUCERO
w/ John Moreland
Majestic Theatre
Wed, April 6   

SunFlower Bean
w/ TBA
The Frequency
Wed, April 6

San Fermin
w/ Esme Patterson
High Noon Saloon
Wed, April 6

Alex G & Porches
w/ Your Friend
Union South - The Sett
Thu, April 7 (Free!)

Deer Tick
(Acoustic Tour)
w/ Ryley Walker
Majestic Theatre
Fri, April 8
 
Made of Oak
(Nick Sanborn
of Sylvan Esso)
High Noon Saloon
Sat, April 9

Wolf Alice
w/ Slaves (UK)
Majestic Theatre
Sun, April 10
 
Polica
w/ Mothxr
High Noon Saloon
Thu, April 14

Juilen Baker
w/ TBA
The Frequency
Sat, April 16
 
Bob Mould Band
w/ Fury Things
Majestic Theatre
Wed, April 20

Dengue Fever
High Noon Saloon
Wed, April 20

Beach Slang
w/ Potty Mouth,
Dyke Drama
The Frequency
Sun, April 24
 
Woods
w/ Ultimate Painting
High Noon Saloon
Mon, April 25

Frankie Cosmos
w/ Eskimeaux,
Yowler
High Noon Saloon
Tue, April 26

Charles Bradley
& his Extraordinaires
Majestic Theatre
Sat, April 30

STRFKR
w/ Com Truise,
Fake Drugs
Majestic Theatre
Sun, May 8

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