Nika Danilova, a.k.a. Zola Jesus, is an intensely intellectual, reserved singer who happens to possess the pipes of a vocal powerhouse. She's like a modern Siouxsie Sioux — if Siouxsie played video games and had a taste for science fiction. Her latest album, Taiga, is easily her most polished and poppy yet. But, that doesn't mean it isn't ethereal and spooky, a perfect listen for brisk fall nights or burning autumn mornings.
Watching an artist grow can be trying: Listeners don't want the same album, again and again. But, on the other hand, they don't want to feel alienated from the artist they’ve grown to love. This is why Taiga, the fifth album from Zola Jesus, is so exciting. It has the familiar drama-tinged exploration into the dark that we've come to expect, yet comes from a Danilova that's definitely grown up.