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Preview: Zola Jesus 

Nika Roza Danilova comes to Republic Feb. 1

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Photo by Jeff Elstone

With 2013's Versions, Nika Roza Danilova took her strung-out love songs to literal lengths, reimagining existing recordings as philharmonic extravaganzas. There's an inherent expectation of darkness in goth music, but this is a basement flooded with daylight, carried by dawning bird calls instead of gloom-addled industrial clatter. On Taiga (Mute), her fifth full-length album as Zola Jesus, Danilova sounds like a vampire who's just realized she's impervious to the sun. Inflating the ventricular claustrophobia of Ian Curtis with the stadium-stomping confidence of Florence Welch has been her trick ever since 2011 breakout Conatus, and Taiga is her most assured outing yet — the electronic origins adapted to a conductor's arsenal, the operatic pipes tuned to low-register R&B. For the first time, Danilova's commanding voice isn't necessarily the most important element of every track: The lead vocal on "Hunger" does battle with brass, violin and a clubbing beat, and the marquee arrangement of "Hollow" has a bit of Kanye West's "All Of the Lights" in it; even a guest MC wouldn't feel out of place. The tradeoff for all this slick bombast is a loss of intimacy, yet Zola Jesus already had plenty of that to spare. "It's Not Over" closes with the kind of over-the-top rolling crescendo that HBO loves to use in its show promotions. Welcome, Ms. Danilova, to the machine. Deradoorian, the solo project of Angel Deradoorian (Dirty Projectors, Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks), opens. Tickets $15.


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