Zola Jesus

Zola Jesus reveals the first and last records she bought and the one she turns to in an emergency

Kate Bush
‘The Kick Inside’
(EMI, 1978)

This is the first record I remember buying. At that time I’d only heard her song ‘Wuthering Heights’. Stumbling upon this album felt like finding a lost treasure. I couldn’t believe someone like her existed. I listened to the record on repeat, trying to make sense of the geometry of her world. To this day I love to put ‘The Kick Inside’ on to remind myself of her importance and musical power.

(Polydor, 1973)

I discovered one of her songs very randomly and instantly fell in love with her unique voice. Unfortunately, it was impossible to hear more online, there’s no MP3s or digital versions of her albums, so I ordered one of the few used vinyl copies for sale on Discogs. I’m fascinated by this woman, she was born Jewish and eventually converted to Roman Catholicism. It’s a mixture of jazz, Jewish, and Gregorian music. Very special.

Various Artists
Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares
(Nonesuch, 1987)

One of the records I’ve probably listened to the most is ‘Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares’, a compilation of Bulgarian folk songs. I could have it on repeat for days and not even realise it. There is an ancient thread that binds these voices together and lures me in, the harmonies are so crushingly sentimental. I love how raw the voices are too. Listening to these songs makes me feel more connected to myself and my homeland in eastern Europe.

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