By: Kat Harlton

I’ve been a fan of Zola Jesus for years, something about her moody, invasive sound has always spoke to me, so I figured I was more than prepared to catch her live at Exclaim‘s NXNE 2015 show at Lees Palace – I was wrong.

Zola Jesus exceeded my expectations in every way possible and reminded me that any artist true to their craft actually requires very little to present their work honestly.

Dressed mainly in black, with a hooded robe, in bare feet and lights so dim you could barely see her, she used her body in combination with her music to create a one woman performance art piece. While pushing her impassioned vocals to the back of the space she climbed all over amps, crawled across the stage, danced sporadically, and used all the tools given to her to share the story of her twisted, tortured soul-it was primal, dangerous and sexy.

It was clear that she was there to give an organic performance and owed nothing to anyone but herself, and by doing so gave the audience exactly what they needed of her.

Zola Jesus is my spirit animal and if you let her, she could be yours too.