Zola Jesus – Union Transfer, Philadelphia Feb 17, 2012.

A little bit overdue, but here it is…

Nika Roza Danilova grew up in rural Wisconsin. A shy and introverted kid with a powerful voice that wanted to sing opera, but ended up finding her way in alternative, goth synth rock.

She performs as Zola Jesus and her performances still depict in a clear way the intense, deep feelings behind her dark and mysterious image. Since 2006, Zola Jesus has been very prolific releasing 3 EPs and 3 full-length albums, including last year's "Conatus", which made it to my personal favorites.

Last February 17, she played Philadelphia at the brand new Union Transfer. Her performance was powerful, led by her compelling voice, which battles roughly her image. Danilova is petite and young but her voice will grab you hard from the first note...

I leave you with a couple of videos… A full concert, from NPR Music recorded at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC on October 2011. Also a version of “Night” from her appearance in KEXP back in July 2011, without a doubt one of my favorites. And finally, a beautiful performance of “Skin” from her show in Philadelphia almost two weeks ago, which among other things was a perfect way to close the night.



NPR Concert




Yellow Ostrich

Yellow Ostrich comes to us from a very familiar story. A native of Wisconsin, Alex Schaaf, who moves away from home, and after living a couple of months in Manhattan establishes an alternative rock band in Brooklyn, where musically things without a doubt are simply different.

The band’s approach to music is certainly unique... Referring to “Whale” the major single from his 2011 album “The Mistress” NPR Music say “Seemingly nonsensical at times, "WHALE" hits harder in spirit than in substance. But it finds a sweet spot along the way, finding a strange patch of common ground between primitivism and production-driven pop.”

“The Mistress” has caught a lot of attention. It was claimed that NPR Music booked an in-studio session based on one or two unreleased demos from the band, without being completely sure about what Yellow Ostrich was about. The thing is that it only takes a few songs to realize that this band is for real. Their alternative, loopy, fun and very vocal approach make “The Mistress” a great album. Along with “Whale”, songs like “hahahaohhoho”, “Mary”, “Campaign” and “Bread” blend together well and clearly show their enormous potential.

Recently, the band has supported a few of our favorites: The Antlers, Beirut and Sharon Van Etten had all benefited from a strong opening act from Yellow Ostrich. But in the end, as it always happens when talent is there, time pays back and the band seems ready to take off. They will be releasing a new album entitled "Strange Land" in March, which also comes with a complete US tour, including some of the most important spots in the US.

The band will play Philadelphia on April 10, 2012 at the epic Johnny Brenda’s. Luckily, part of the MUSICAL SOULMATE crew will be around that week for PULP’s concert in NYC. Although I am sure PULP’s catchy pop is a guarantee for a fun night, I suspect Yellow Ostrich’s gig in Philly will leave a much fresher taste, that of a band moving forward, heading towards great times.

I leave you with three magnificent songs from their appearance last year at KEXP in Seattle and a link to their presentation at NPR over a year ago.







Yellow Ostrich Session in NPR -KEXP


First Aid Kit y Perfume Genius (Recomendaciones de la semana)

'Put Your Back N 2 It' (Art)
Otro par de recomendaciones de Musical Soulmate esta semana... par de grandes discos. Al final viene un link para descargar uno de los tracks del nuevo (segundo) disco de Perfume Genius que saldrá a la venta el 21 de Febrero editado por Matador, además de su controversial video que desató la polémica vs YouTube. De las Suecas de First Aid Kit les dejo un par de videos además del realizado por La Blogotheque, que como siempre es una joya. 'The Lion's Roar', ya lo pueden conseguir en todos los formatos desde el 27 de Enero. Enjoy...

First Aid Kit

Perfume Genius
Play or Download Perfume Genius: "All Waters" (vía Pitchfork.com)