Tuesday, September 28, 2010

LA vampires & zola jesus - self-titled (2010)

This brief, one-off album pairing LA Vampires and Zola Jesus is maybe, probably my favorite album of the year thus far (or at least, its the album that's gotten the most repeated listens in the last few months).  LA Vampires is the new solo project of the ex-singer of the unfortunately broken-up group Pocahaunted, Zola Jesus is a rising gothy songstress- and together, their individuals strengths complement each other to amazing effect.  Zola Jesus's dark and sparse style sounds great matched with the lo-fi dubbiness of LA Vampires, and the result is a cavernous, mesmerizing sound.  Although I am a fan of her solo work, I feel like sometimes Zola Jesus borders on being too outright poppy for my tastes- but here, the more sprawling nature of these songs allow her voice to be more of an accompaniment than the focus, more textural than being the central hook.  These songs are not particularly structured or driven, instead allowing plenty of space for the echoing basslines and melodic vocals to stretch, repeat, and slowly morph into different shapes.  It's not a very engaging album, but that's one of its strongest qualities- it has such a great atmosphere and vibe to it, it easily bears repeated listens without getting tiring.  LA Vampires & Zola Jesus is a great post-Pocahaunted debut for LA Vampires, and the best so far of Zola Jesus's many pairings.

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