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Nika, the 25-year-old behind Zola Jesus’ creative incarnations, is a singer, sole songwriter and producer.
Written on Vashon Island, WA and mixed in Los Angeles, CA by Dean Hurley, ‘Taiga’ follows the widely celebrated albums ‘Versions’ (2013) and ‘Conatus’ (2011). This is Nika’s fourth fulllength album release.
In regards to the album title, Nika explains, “Taiga is the Russian name for the boreal forest. For me it feels very alive… very expansive. It represents a feral, untapped world that could happily exist without us. There are taiga forests in Northern Wisconsin where I was raised, and also in Russia where my ancestors are from, so it also feels very native.”
Liberated in the present and connected to the past, this album is a transition for Zola Jesus. Masterful layers of composition are bathed in familiar atmospheric vocals but a new sensibility is deeply present.
‘Taiga’ is at once challenging and accessible and is undeniably branded with what Nika terms a “piercing ambition.” Such encompassing purpose, she explains, would be impossible without a newfound sense of artistic self. The album is a declaration of that purpose; one faced with jarring clarity in both its content and production. Nika summates, “For me, it feels like my true debut, because it is the first time I have felt so open and liberated.”
2. Dangerous Days
5. Go (Blank Sea)
9. Long Way Down
11. It's Not Over