by Daniella Thompson
photo by Jesse Draxler
Singer/songwriter Nika Roza Danilova, better known as Zola Jesus, will grace the Pitchfork stage in the early afternoon Saturday, where the (hopefully) bright sunshine will make an odd pairing with her famously haunting vocals backed by her signature dark, electronic beats. Regardless of weather, the combination of Zola’s pulsating synth-pop basslines alongside her operatic singing style make for an emotionally stimulating listening experience. With five full-length albums under belt since 2009, there’s endless possibilities for what should be an electric live performance at this year’s festival. The industrial elements from her previous releases (such as debut album The Spoils) are still very present in her current work but on her latest project Okovi, the reverb and distortion take a backseat while her incredible voice remains in the forefront. With tracks touching on darker topics like depression, sadness and guilt, the meanings behind Zola Jesus songs are equally as impactful as her melodies.