Zola Jesus – “Nail” EP


Label: Mute Records

Review by Warren Mayocchi

“Nail” is the latest single/EP from the most recent Zola Jesus album – “Taiga”. It is an emotional song which begins with a lone voice in the dark, and gradually gains weight as layers are added: heavy piano, ethereal backing vocals, slow drums, deep brass. It is a powerfully sung reminder to think independently. The song sounds like an inner voice pleading to be allowed freedom from self-imposed beliefs – the nail. The inner voice attempts to convince you of your power to remove the nail, because “tradition is a slave to it’s owner”. Then, in freedom, the voice hopes for nothing more than to be alive – “Don’t leave me wasted”.

“Circles” is the second track and has a mournful rhythmic chanting verse that is let down by a weaker chorus. With a stronger punchline the song would have more emotional weight, but it has a thoughtful feel to it anyway. The last song is “Go” is a remix of another song from “Taiga” and is unlike the raw mood of the first two songs. It has an experimental feel, the backing music is almost the random noise that you might get if you are rapidly switching between radio stations. But the music coalesces during the chorus into a solid structure which brings sense to the random feel of the verse backing track. The various rhythms are held together well by the vocals. This EP gives you the excellent “Nail” well supported by “Circles” and “Go”.

Rating – 92/100



  1. Nail
  2. Circles
  3. Go (Xanopticon remix)





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