The Haunting. Evil Dead 2. Poltergeist II: The Other Side. After thoughtful consideration, Will Oldham, a.k.a. Bonnie “Prince” Billy, lists these three movies as amongst his favorites in the horror genre. It’s an equally appropriate and befuddling trifecta. The original version of The Haunting and Evil Dead 2 stand firm in the canon of scary movies. Poltergeist II, on the other hand, is the largely disregarded sequel to the 1982 classic, a film which features — amongst other absurdities — a philosophical discussion between Coach and Chief in a sauna, 20 minutes of the Freeling family tumbling through a seizure-inducing psychedelic purgatory, and a clumsy arsenal of bloodthirsty household appliances.
Synth-pop heavyweight Zola Jesus (a.k.a. Nika Danilova) has been turning out beautifully haunting dark pop records for the past half a decade now. Each release continues to reveal Danilova’s wealth of ambition and potential, and now it seems that potential has been fully realized on her latest album Taiga. While previous efforts found Danilova shrouding her voice in reverb and distortion, Taiga introduces a newfound sense of clarity and fearlessness to the Zola Jesus sound. Her two excellent new singles “Dangerous Days” and “Go (Bank Sea)” find Danilova giving her dark wave aesthetic a triumphant pop makeover, resulting in her most confident and accessible work to date. Chicago INNERVIEW got the chance to speak to Danilova about the anxieties she had to leave behind to achieve her vision, the benefits of working with a producer, and our increasing alienation from the world as well as each other.
Few bands are bold enough to reveal their distinguishing characteristics within their name, but Toronto-obviously-via-Alberta’s Rural Alberta Advantage have made a name for themselves as an alt-folk staple within Canada’s genre-defying music scene on just this sort of revelation. Heavily influenced by a childhood spent inhabiting the wilderness of rural Canada, the band’s first two albums tell the fierce tales of love and loss navigated by the rasp and oft-acoustic strumming of disciple-of-Jeff-Mangum Nils Edenloff backed full-force by the rapid patter of Paul Banwatt’s drumming as well as the soothing coos and percussion of Amy Cole. The trio returns to Chicago this fall offering a taste from their forthcoming third album, Mended With Gold.
Who the hell is Warpaint? Simply put, Warpaint is an all-female quartet whose ass-kicking talent proves that musicianship extends far beyond gender boundaries. That’s who. Following the January release of their near-universally adored sophomore LP Warpaint, the L.A.-based indie powerhouse continues their massive 2014 tour which has taken them around the globe and to just about every summer music festival imaginable from Coachella and Lollapalooza to Primavera Sound and Roskilde. As they gear up for the fall leg of a tour that has been winning over converts from France to the Philippines, bassist Jenny Lee spoke with Chicago INNERVIEW about their songwriting process, how they pay homage to Nirvana, and the songs that form the essence that is Warpaint.