Zola Jesus: Conatus - review

(Souterrain Transmissions)

Zola Jesus's last album, Stridulum II, deservedly propelled this one-woman electronic project out of the cosy demi-monde of the blogosphere and on to a wider stage last year. With opera training and a degree in French and philosophy, Jesus makes for an uncommon beat-maker: erudite in her angst. The term "conatus" refers to the momentum to keep evolving. But here the LA-based midwesterner sticks close to the blueprint of her past two efforts, her aching bellows of a voice gusting through mournful strings and occasionally bolder beats, as on "Shivers". It's all very accomplished, but lacking in variety; "Lick the Palm of the Burning Handshake" is the closest she comes towards the killer pop blow of which she is surely capable.


Kitty Empire

The GuardianTramp

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