Artist Decoded: Zola Jesus - "Okovi"

Nika Roza Danilova has been recording and performing as Zola Jesus for more than a decade. As a classically trained opera singer with a penchant for noisy, avant-garde sounds, she launched her career with a series of lo-fi releases that pitted her soaring vocals against harsh industrial clatter and jittery synths. The signature Zola Jesus sound became more hi-fi as she began to explore her own skewed vision of pop music on releases like Stridulum, Valusia, and Conatus. With the release of Conatus, Danilova was propelled to regular appearances on festival stages all around the world, as well as a special performance at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. That era culminated in the release of Versions, a collection of string quartet interpretations of her most beloved work, conducted by J.G. Thirlwell (Foetus). That album and subsequent tour were followed by her most hi-fi outing to date, Taiga. Now, coinciding with her return to both the Wisconsin woods in which she was raised and her longtime label, Sacred Bones Records, Zola Jesus has produced Okovi, her darkest album yet. It is, in Danilova’s words, “a deeply personal snapshot of loss, reconciliation, and a sympathy for the chains that keep us all grounded to the unforgiving laws of feral nature.”

Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • Depression
  • Dissecting sections of her creative process from an emotional and technical standpoint
  • Creative resourcefulness
  • Identity
  • Her thoughts on constructing honest lyrics
  • Yoshino and Zola Jesus’s collaboration together
  • Kindred spirits in collaborative creative partners
  • Exploring morbid curiosities and ideas surrounded around death
  • Understanding human suffering
  • Collaborating with David Lynch
  • Finding your own path
  • Resilience through failure

www.zolajesus.com

Artist Decoded: Gems - "Every Full Moon"

GEMS is the evolving ethereal pop project of former lovers Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John Usher. After an agonizing romantic split, the duo are continuing to make music together with the project: ‘Every Full Moon’. The full moon represents a time of culmination and fulfillment, of coming full circle, and a symbolic illumination in our inner lives that is mirrored in the night sky. GEMS will be releasing a new song with every full moon as they work through the ghosts of their past and face the uncertainty of the future. Their hope is that the music they create can serve as a vehicle to transform the pain and work through things that otherwise seem totally overwhelming.

Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • Being able to separate yourself from your art
  • Constantly investigating and navigating the world
  • Neil Young, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell
  • Astrology
  • Releasing their songs at the end of the full moon cycle
  • Changes the duo has been going through both personally and with their musical career
  • Technological advances
  • The music industry
  • Getting trapped in systematic styles of living / thinking
  • Social and emotional education
  • Positivity through individuality
  • Artwork affecting culture

www.gems-band.com

Artist Decoded: Tim Bettinson (Vancouver Sleep Clinic) on "Music As A Vessel For Communication"

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Tim Bettinson makes fearless music. The guiding creative force behind Vancouver Sleep Clinic, one of the great under-the-radar success stories of the last couple of years, he boldly blurs the lines between styles and genres, mixing elements of rowdy indie rock, sophisticated folk, bumping R&B, sweeping film soundtracks, and anything else at hand. More crucially, his full-length debut, evocatively titled Revival, never shies from messy emotions or big moments, be embraces them as the essence of affecting, deeply emotional, highly sophisticated music. This is music that reaches out unabashedly to the entire world. This is music that dares

Bettinson currently resides in Brisbane, Australia.

Patti Smith on Why We Need to Daydream More

via Q on CBC. Patti Smith is a writer, a poet, a musician, an artist, a world traveller and a visionary. She joins Shad to discuss her latest memoir "M Train", a book that takes the reader through her life, her memories, her creative impulses, and her surprising passions.

The mind expands in a different way. Empathetically expansive.