On the surface, Taiga is easily Zola Jesus’ most accessible album. With each release, Nika has peeled away the layers of noise blanketing her music; Versions, her orchestral collaboration with J.G. Thirlwell, also reflected her sound’s increasing refinement. She made Taiga with her most honed palette of sounds yet, fusing brass and strings with beats and synths into a majestic yet poignant sound that recalls Björk’s Homogenic, especially on the stately title track and “Hunger”‘s frantic rhythms. Emphasizing her biggest strengths — her huge voice, ringing melodies, and thoughtful lyrics — should take Taiga to new heights, and at times it does. She embraces her newfound pop side wholeheartedly, and many moments suggest that this transformation holds promise. It’s more than a little remarkable how well she harnesses her power into songs with clearly delineated hooks and choruses: “Dangerous Days” is equally glowering and joyous, echoing Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” with its galloping beat
Digipack CD case with 6 panel fold out poster
The Vinyl include Digital download code.
MUTE Artist Limited CDSTUMM373