Nika + Rory is goth-pop mastermind Nika Roza Danilova, better known as Zola Jesus, and her touring bandmate Nick Turco; together they churn out warm, synthy, auto-tuned summer jams that seem to diametrically oppose the dark and distant work with which Danilova has made a name for herself. That’s not to say that Nika + Rory’s small but promising oeuvre is pure mindless pop – it’s smart, bright, far denser and more considered than most other chillwave contemporaries.
Start with “I’m Not Going Anywhere,” Danilova attesting her love in a haunting, auto-tuned yowl over spiraling, uplifting arpeggios, organ, and classic pop drum machines, and try not to fall in love.
“LA SUXXX (The Choice)” is more dark club music, pulsing, thrumming, like a heartbeat. For a summer that seems destined to be soundtracked by surprising, haunting pop gems, there’s a space the size and weight of “The Choice” carved into your car’s stereo, your laptop’s speakers, your friend’s friend’s basement iPod player.