Adult Swim announces first ever Adult Swim Festival, feat. DAWN, Zola Jesus, Run the Jewels, Thundercat, and ???????

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Adult Swim is still principally a collection of absurd television shows (I think), but there’s no ignoring the brand’s increasingly prevalent foray into an artistic form that tends to touch our emotional cores a bit more than prepubescent meatballs. I’m talking about music, of course — and it’s certainly possible that you’ve come across or even listened to the Adult Swim Singles Program, which debuted eight years ago as an annual playlist of new music from artists that even we snobby jerks at TMT would recommend without caveats.

LOGICALLY, then, the next step after these extreme musical indulgences would be an actual music festival…hmm…perhaps in Los Angeles…and perhaps called Adult Swim Festival?

Boom: The first annual Adult Swim Festival is set to take place October 6-7 in the ROW DTLA district, and though the lineup is still literally filled with question marks, many noteworthy artists have also been announced. Attendees can look forward to headliner Run the Jewels (who have a longstanding connection with AS), Julianna Barwick, Zola Jesus, Thundercat, Wavves, D∆WN, Com Truise, Big Freedia, and more. Some comedic performances are also scheduled. Single day passes are currently $75, and weekend passes (which include entry to the Friday preview day) are $230.

Go here for more info, and check out the festival trailer — as well as some relevant music from a few of the artists in the lineup — below:

Zola Jesus – “Ash To Bone (Johnny Jewel Remix)” Video

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Johnny Jewel remixed Zola Jesus’ “Ash To Bone,” off of her 2017 release Okovi, which made it onto our 50 Best Albums list. The duo debuted the remix today accompanied by a video co-directed by Nika Roza Danilova (Zola Jesus herself) and Jenni Hensler. The clip mirrors the intensity of the track, which … More »

Blanck Mass – “Please (Zola Jesus Remix)”

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Last year, Fuck Buttons’ Ben Power released his latest Blanck Mass album, World Eater. It found Power moving the project forward, leaping from its noise origins into a dancier, but no less haunting place. And today, he’s released a surprise epilogue to the collection: a digital-only EP titled World Eater Re-Voxed. More »

Goth pop’s high priestess Zola Jesus moves listeners on new single, ‘Bound’

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Nika Roza Danilova has been recording and performing under her Zola Jesus moniker for more than a decade. Now, she’s rising from the depths of her darkest release Okovi with “Bound.”

“Bound” is Adult Swim’s Single Series’ latest installment and it’s a sound encapsulation of the noisy, avant-garde flavor that Zola Jesus is known for.

Despite Danilova’s current sonic proclivities, the artist originally began as a classically trained opera singer. When her experimental interests began to pervade her work she moved towards a series of lo-fi releases that pitted her soaring vocals against harsh industrial clatter and gritty synths.

A year after her return to the Wisconsin woods in which she was raised and her imprint Sacred Bones Records — which boasts experimental evangelists like Blanck Mass and industrial heavyweights like The Soft Moon and Jenny Hval — Zola Jesus announced she’ll also be following up Okovi with the LP’s B-sides, Okovi: Additions.

Zola Jesus’ B-sides project will pair four previously unreleased Okovi outtakes with remixes and will be released April 6.

Photo Credit: Tim Saccenti / Michael Cina

Alice Glass – “Stillbirth (Zola Jesus Remix)”

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Earlier this week, Zola Jesus shared the new track “Bound” and announced the impending release of her companion-piece album Okovi: Additions. She also announced that she and fellow world-destroying post-goth queen Alice Glass would head out on a co-headlining tour this spring. This is amazing news, since both are the sort of live performers … More »

Zola Jesus – “Bound”

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We were big fans of Zola Jesus’ 2017 release Okovi — like, so big that we called it one of the year’s best albums and interviewed her at the Basilica Soundscape festival. Today she’s reminding us why we like her so much with a fresh addition to the Adult Swim Singles Series. More »

The 50 Best Music Videos Of 2017

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In this space in past years, I’ve usually written about which music-video directors had the best years. It’s a variation of the auteur theory, as visionaries like Nabil and Hiro Murai have used artists as vehicles for their ideas and approaches. This year, though, it feels like the artists themselves who are driving things, and … More »

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

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Taylor Swift’s “…Ready For It?” is a pretty bad video, and it’s not even bad in the ways that you would expect a Taylor Swift video to be bad. It’s expensive and meaningless and even maybe slightly pretentious? But at least it’s not boring? I have no idea what’s happening with it, and I … More »

Zola Jesus – “Siphon” Video

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Last month, Zola Jesus was in Upstate New York to play a stunning headlining set at the Basilica Sound Festival. (I interviewed her there.) While she was up there, Zola Jesus teamed up with the great music-video director Zia Anger to shoot a striking, weirdly moving video for “Siphon,” one of … More »

Q&A: Zola Jesus On Living In The Wilderness, Making Bangers, And Learning To Let Go

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There may be better places to see Zola Jesus than a desiccated upstate New York factory full of intense-looking art-goths, but there probably are not many. The bottom of the Mariana Trench, maybe? A deep-space probe? Adrift on an ice floe through inky-black nighttime water while the Northern Lights dance above you? Point is: There … More »