02. Dangerous Days
05. Go (Blank Sea)
09. Long Way Down
11. It’s Not Over
NBHAP Rating: 3,5/5
Know your nature
Those with topographical knowledge might know that the Taiga is a quite special place that hosts a unique natural environment. Also known as boreal forests it is found throughout the high northern latitudes, consisting mostly of pines and larches. It might be a clear nod to Nika Roza Danilova’s Russian origins. But it also works as a metaphor for her new album. It’s a wild nature full of unknown territory that feels like home for the artist.
Voice in the wilderness
The distinctive and powerful voice of Danilova and her alter ego ZOLA JESUS once again marks the key element on the artist’s fifth studio release. Taiga feels way more accessible than 2011’s Conatus without denying her artistic ambitions. The title-track and its tribal-like beats and the folkloristic trumpets take us ride into wilderness. Deep in the twilight between symphonic constructs and pop, that’s where her true home is. By now one should have got the Taiga metaphor.
Split pop personality
More than before ZOLA JESUS expands her music into different directions, constantly forcing the listener to change its mind and expectations. Dangerous Days is a groovy piece of radio-friendly dance pop while Dust and Go (Blank Sea) remain slow grooving pieces of dark wave. Ego drowns in cinematic strings and lets Danilova’s inner BJÖRK break loose before Lawless takes us right into the stadium and the closing It’s Not Over starts a symphonic rave party.
On ‘Taiga’ ZOLA JESUS expands her symphonic wave pop into multiple directions while making it, on the other side, way more accessible to the listener than her previous output.