Enigmatic, otherworldly performer Zola Jesus (née Nika Roza Danilova) contains multitudes. The 25-year-old Wisconsin-bred, Los Angeles–based singer-songwriter—whose breakthrough album, 2011’s Conatus, earned raves from Pitchfork and Spin—draws on eclectic inspirations, many of which can be heard in the epic art-pop anthems on her latest album, Taiga (Mute Records, Oct. 7).
Get to know Ms. Jesus by the sum of her parts
30% Stevie Nicks: Flowing cape-shirts, witchy goth-wave aura, sprinkling of unicorn dust—all can be traced back to the godmother of boho pop.
25% Kate Bush: Taiga showcases Danilova’s mercurial melodies and affinity for the natural world, both of which are in harmony with Bush’s earthy ethos.
25% Opera: After studying opera for years, Danilova decided she didn’t have the voice for it, but her songs still possess the emotional heft and soaring power of arias.
25% Ace Of Base: A true child of the ’90s, Danilova is still enamoured of the decade’s cheese-synth production. (See also: Aguilera, Christina; Spears, Britney.)
10% Bikini Kill: Danilova said she was inspired by the punk rockers’ take-no-prisoners attitude and social conscience.