Albums to watch


Zola Jesus


Fifth album of experimental electropop from Phoenix-born Nika Roza Danilova

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Sacred Bones
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US Release date
  1. 9.1 |   A.V. Club

    Less rhythmic, more intimate, and more unfiltered Zola than its predecessor
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  2. 9.0 |   Clash

    The production is absolutely masterful. The conviction is assured; the weightiest of subjects: that of 'life' and 'death' are tackled and shackled by Zola expertly
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  3. 9.0 |   The Quietus

    Isn't so much a purgative creative release as it is a feature-length self-exorcism, and the pay-off is a collection of songs that masterfully insist upon survival
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  4. 8.3 |   Pitchfork

    Okovi showcases the searing, fully-formed music of Nika Danilova, an album of close personal experiences rendered into urgent goth-pop songs as emotional as they are necessary
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  5. 8.3 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Okovi isn’t the album where Danilova finds happiness, but it is the album where she learns to make peace with life as a double-edged sword
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  6. 8.2 |   Paste Magazine

    Tracks seem molded from craggy cliffs and dark valleys that never fully recede from the landscape
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  7. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Album of driving, gothic electronica places her in a trajectory of artists who translate trauma into sound
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  8. 8.0 |   music OMH

    The shackles might still be on, but this is the sound of an artist reveling in freedom
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  9. 8.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    It’s not summer holiday music, unless you’re in pretty bad shape – but it’s well worth hearing anyway
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  10. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    At times it feels like confession, but whatever the purpose it's a deeply emotive and enthralling journey. It's one we are all the better for being part of
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  11. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    Dripping in catharsis that seems to pour straight from Danilova’s soul, Okovi is rarely an easy listen, even when it’s at its most accessible. But it’s also profound, and Zola Jesus’ most emotionally stirring record to date
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  12. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    After five albums, Zola Jesus's balancing act remains compelling
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  13. 7.7 |   Earbuddy

    Zola Jesus makes a welcome return to form on Okovi
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  14. 7.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    A grandiose, emotional journey toward the light
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  15. 7.0 |   Mixmag

    Zola Jesus’ distinctive, dramatic voice has always been the prime weapon in her arsenal, and on new album ‘Okovi’ it sounds more brooding than ever
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  16. 7.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    Won’t topple Stridulum II as the most essential Zola Jesus record, but it’s another excellent record that once again showcases a unique and powerful voice
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  17. 7.0 |   Uncut

    The songs' operatic grandeur evokes the music of Dead Can Dance and Diamanda Galas at its most epic-scaled. Print edition only

  18. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    Zola Jesus takes a confident and empowering stance on matters of life and death in her supremely dark but undeniably uplifting new album
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  19. 7.0 |   God Is In The TV

    A not-always- easy, but rewarding effort in dealing with choppy seas and heavy water
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  20. 7.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Danilova's music is often at its best when her powerful voice complements the gloomy arrangements rather than towers over them
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  21. 6.0 |   DIY

    Heavy with feeling throughout, it makes for a record that’s often a tough listen. But for cathartically allowing herself to tackle life’s most difficult subjects, you’ve got to applaud her
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  22. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    Okovi is an overwrought piece of work by an artist brought to their knees by the devastation of death where the promise of new life has not yet found a way into this heart of darkness
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  23. 6.0 |   Q

    There are moments when it becomes a bit Baltic Eurovision, but Okovi is as tender as it is tough. Print edition only

  24. 6.0 |   Mojo

    Powerful to the point of brutality, but affecting. Print edition only

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