It Was A Very Good Year: Alex DeGroot’s (of Zola Jesus) Favorites of 2011


Alex DeGroot

Alex DeGroot of Wisconsin-based indie dream goth outfit Zola Jesus spent much of 2011 tripping all over the globe playing with a variety of exceptional bands while turning fans on to the brilliance of their own tunes.

De Groot was kind enough to take the time to tell us about five of his personal favorite bands with whom he shared a stage in 2011.  Check out his list after the jump.

My 5 Favorite Artists Zola Jesus Played With In 2011

By Alex DeGroot of Zola Jesus


Seni Görmem Imkansiz

This is a female duo from Istanbul. They sit across from each other at a small table as if they are about to play a match of chess, except the table is covered in toy keyboards and various noise-making electronics. They seem to be locked in some kind of telepathic connection as they stare into each other’s eyes and sing haunting melodies. Truly mesmerizing.


Cult Of Youth

Originally the solo project of neo-folk troubadour Sean Ragon, Cult Of Youth has recently evolved to become a full band. The experience of seeing them live is something like watching The Pogues cover the Wicker Man soundtrack. Vaguely celtic, pagan folk music delivered with primal punk energy.



Sleeparchive is one man, Roger Semsroth, who makes exceptional minimal techno with an industrial edge to it. Listening to his set pounding out of the incredible sound system at Berghain (probably the best techno club on Earth) was one of the greatest highlights of this year/my life.



Erika M. Anderson is an honest young woman who sings about the darker side of Midwestern life over a barrage of grungy guitars, violins, and electronics. We played several dates together and I was consistently impressed with the ability of her live band to bring the sonic impact of her debut record to stages of all sizes. Erika’s stage presence is equally confrontational and endearing, and the music is simply great. Go to The Frequency on March 9th to see for yourself. Get tickets here



Xanopticon, a.k.a. Ryan Friedrich, challenges the listener by breaking out of the rigid 4/4 grid of most electronic dance music, leaving you with little idea of what sonic territory will be ventured into next. As time passes you become immersed in his world and patterns emerge out of what initially seemed to be chaos. In the live context, Ryan defies the stereotype of the stoic electronic musician behind a laptop as he intensely conjures sounds out of his setup like some kind of crazed breakcore wizard, flailing his limbs like a madman.


Related Content: It Was A Very Good Year: 54 Favorites of 2011 by ZETI

One Response

  1. Great post. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s