BREAKING SOUNDS: Zola Jesus 'Soeur Sewer' 7"

posted Wednesday Oct 8th, 2008

Although the debut 7" from Madison, Wisconsin's Zola Jesus came out a few months ago on Die Stasi Records, this follow-up 7" has an even finer-crafted sonic nightmare in place, and resounds to be one of the witching season's most appropriate releases. Sacred Bones is the label responsible for this follow-up 7" single, and it's safe to say that this mellifluous style of underground music is still far from being championed, yet Zola Jesus leads a growing contingent of female home recording trailblazers into a new era of wide open possibilities. As the cabaret-style vocals on the A-side's "Soeur Sewer" meld into a hypnotic siren's calling, the chilling piano keys conjure up a blurry vision of crackly film soundtrack loops, with feathery layers of evil interwoven between the abstract, yet alluring chanted verses. It's not exactly what everyone will fall for immediately, but it goes surprisingly well with the cold winds that blow through the trees as the days grow shorter, and if you allow yourself the time and the patience, you'll see that it's one of the most wretchedly necessary records to come out this year.

As if the A-side wasn't enough, the filpside "Odessa" has an even more ominous approach with a serpentine Suicide drone that will stop you dead in your tracks. Showing a close affiliation with her co-conspirator Dead Luke, in the bad vibes department, the B-side will cause skin to crawl, and provides the perfect accompaniment to a John Carpenter horror movie, complete with reprobate undulations that suggest a ghoulish disemboweling off somewhere in the distance. Truly disturbing stuff here, and it will be interesting to see how well it works, as more releases are planned with an EP on Troubleman Unlimited and her first full-length coming soon, also on Sacred Bones.

With her seductive sonic textures reverberating over multiple levels of low-key DIY static slime, Zola Jesus is undoubtedly one of the most original sounding home-recording outfits in the Midwest. She joins similar kindred spirits as Cro Magnon, Circuit des yeux, and many more on the upcoming Crimsonwave compilation album, brewing up soon on Die Stasi Records, so be on the lookout for that one as well.

Pick up a copy of Zola Jesus' "Soeur Sewer" single right from the source, and check out both songs HERE, or pick up a copy through our fine mailorder depots such as Florida's Dying and Goner before they're long gone.