Rostam (Photo by Tara Ziemba)
Rostam Batmanglij has a sometimes lengthy songwriting process. The former member of Vampire Weekend can sometimes work up a concept and then revisit it and revise it months and months later.
In the case of “Gwan,” his most recent single, Rostam drew it up as sheet music some time ago before sitting down to refine it. Now it’s one of his favorite songs to play live. And play it live he did to an attentive gathering at 9:30 Club on May 2.
Late last year, Zola Jesus released her fifth studio album, Taiga, and did so on perhaps my favorite record label ever — London’s Mute Records.
Tonight she brings the tour in support of the album to the Black Cat, and tickets are still available.
In a press statement, Zola Jesus said of the record: “I used to be very scared of failure, of the responsibility of doing the one thing I knew I was born to do. This record was made in an effort to try to make the most massive record I could, shunning all fear and any sense of smallness I ever once had.”
To record the album, she retired to the isolation of Vashon Island in the Puget Sound. The album’s name similarly comes from the Northwoods, or taiga, encompassing where she grew up in Wisconsin. At first listen, the new album sounds orchestral, haunting and thunderous all at the same time.
As reported by Noisey, Zola Jesus hasn’t been afraid to be different, as usual, on this tour. In Brooklyn on Jan. 26, while performing at Saint Vitus, she took her show out onto the street and into the snow. Watch a video of her performing “Nail” from Taiga in the snow below.
L.A. musician Deradoorian opens for Zola Jesus. Tickets are available online and at the door.
Thursday, Jan. 29