Zola Jesus - 'Arkhon'

8/10

Throughout her tenure on the scene, progressive artist Nika Danilova aka Zola Jesus has always projected herself as an enigmatic soul. Ever since she made her mark with her stunning 2009 debut LP 'The Spoils', she has been moving her way around the ethereal dark-pop realm, occasionally dabbling in more commercial aesthetics from time to time. But after a heavily prolific period within her catalogue, she chose to take a five-year break away from working on new music to rediscover who she really is. Now she drops her sixth studio album 'Arkhon', a wonderfully dense and progressive work.

Within her brilliantly sprawling work to date, Zola Jesus has always looked to develop a richer and more euphoric guise than her contemporaries, and 'Arkhon' has that in spades. Throughout this new collection, we see her explore a broad and inventive approach to both production and instrumentation, giving us one of her most alluring and captivating releases in the latter half of her career. Building upon the raw and passionate identity of her origins, she delves deep into her psyche, pulling out some beautifully enriched and powerful gems along the way.

It is clear from the very start that the five-year break since her last outing 'Okovi' has refined her voice and direction. We are hearing a stronger and more confident artist at the helm of this project, someone who knows exactly where she plans to go next and cultivating a shimmering aura as she goes.

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