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Baker's Dozen

A Zola Jesus Baker's Dozen: 13 LPs By Women Who Inspired Me To Sing
Luke Turner , August 27th, 2013 08:32

Zola Jesus (Nika Rosa Danilova) gives us a special Baker's Dozen - 13 albums by female singers who inspired her to find her own voice


Meredith Monk - Facing North
I've been a longtime fan of everything Monk does, so it's hard to choose just one record. From the cohesive world in Book Of Days to the trance states of her opera Atlas, there is truly something magical and transcendent in everything she creates. However, it's Facing North which strikes me the most. She creates primal environments lost in a black hole. Monk has always said that her experimentation with wordless vocals works as a vehicle to tap into something deeply elemental. That is what makes records like this so ageless. They have no allegiance to the temporal landscape; they exist outside of time. I love to listen to her when I feel anxiety from being too wrapped up in the moment. It sucks you in and pulls back to an intrinsic state of being. You come out of it forgetting what day or time or season it is. To her, we are all of the same homespun cloth. And to convince us of this immutable chaos with nothing but the cords of her own throat! She inspires my trust in reflexes, to follow that thin line that tugs at the inside of your belly.