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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

NE-HI (Chicago)
w/ Varsity, 
Proud Parents
The Frequency
Wed, Jan. 28

Oh, My Love
EP Release Party
w/ Dolores, Sam Arias
The Frequency
Fri, Jan. 30

Prof
w/ St. Paul Slim,
Charles Grant,
Chris LaBella,
High Noon Saloon
Sat, Jan. 31 

Yonatan Gat (NYC)
(former Monotonix guitarist)
 w/ Lover's Spit, Fire Retarded, The Amigos
The Frequency
Tue, Feb. 3

AESOP ROCK
and Rob Sonic
w/ DJ Abilities
& Homeboy Sandman
Barrymore Theatre
Tue, Feb. 3

Wild Child
w/ Cheers Elephant
The Frequency
Wed, Feb.4
 
Sturgill Simpson
w/ Anderson East
Majestic Theatre
Wed, Feb. 4
 
Local H
w/ The Traveling Suitcase
Bron Sage
High Noon Saloon
Fri, Feb. 13
 
Nikki Lane
w/ Jonny Fritz,
Hugh Bob
High Noon Saloon
Sun, Feb. 15

Hey Rosetta
w/ Communist Daughter
The Frequency
Wed, Feb. 18
 
Portland Cello Project
Honoring Elliott Smith
High Noon Saloon
Thu, Feb. 19

Doomtree
w/ Open Mike Eagle,
Greg Grease
Majestic Theatre
Sat, Feb. 21

The Districts
w/ Pine Barons
Dolores
High Noon Saloon
Sat, Feb. 21

SUUNS
w/ Disappears &
DJ Tolerance
The Frequency
Sun, Feb. 22
 
Robyn Hitchcock
w/ Emma Swift
High Noon Saloon
Mon, Feb. 23

The Growlers
w/ TBA
High Noon Saloon
Tues, Feb. 24

Lotus
w/ Turbo Suit
Orpheum Theater
Fri, Feb. 27

CURSIVE
w/ Dylan Ryan Sand,
See Through Dresses
High Noon Saloon
Thurs, March 19

The King Khan & BBQ Show
w/ TBA
High Noon Saloon
Sun, March 15

CYMBALS EAT GUITARS
w/ TBA
The Frequency
Mon, March 30

FOXYGEN
w/ TBA
The Sett - Union South
Fri, April 10 

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

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