There will always be a ready market for earthlings blessed with supernal pipes — Adele is pudding-proof — but the ancient art of the voice has too often lately been dashed off in favor of effects whitewash and irksome oversinging. Not for Nika Roza Danilova, the 22-year-old dynamo better known as Zola Jesus. Danilova spent her youth training for La Scala but she found opera stifling and the imperative to sing words written centuries before too phony. She was listening to GG Allin and Throbbing Gristle before she probably should have been, and her latest effort Conatus checks Sartre-worthy meaninglessness against cathedral-sized catharsis. Her nimble songwriting has improved since The Spoils, and her work ethic borders on psychosis. But all is forgotten when she's in front of you, her vocal acrobatics matched by bodily seizures as she wrenches every gust from the soles of her feet.
Don't Miss: Her tour support, Brooklyn squallers Talk Normal, two ladies unafraid of shit-kicking noise. And the lone official Zola Jesus-approved remix: "In Your Nature," by none other than eerie auteur David Lynch.