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Charli XCX released on of 2011′s best singles with “Stay Away” and now she is back with another new single “Nuclear Seasons.” The 17 year old goth-pop star has been really making a name for herself this year. With the rise of Zola Jesus (who are playing tonight in DC!!!!!!!!!!!!) and Niki & The Dove, Charli XCX has finally found a foothold after her first single, three years ago, fluttered out. “Nuclear Seasons” is one part Zola Jesus and another Marina and the Diamonds. The up-beat pop track has all of the dramatic flair of Nika and Marina while still being an instant earworm. We are sure to hear more from Charli so keep your ears to the internet.

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HOLY SHIT! Zola Jesus is currently streaming her entire album Conatus on The Guardian right now! I mena what are you doing reading this when you should click that link and listen to one of the best albums of the year! The record was written and played by Nika Roza Danilova herself (though she did have some help on some tracks) and it is a continuation of her work from last year’s Stridulum EPs. You have already head preview singles “Seekir” and “Vessel” here but now you can hear album tracks like the danceable goth number “Hikikomori” and the brooding opener “Avalanche.” The album has touches of her previous work but speeds up the tempo with tracks like “In Your Name” which starts slow but then turns into an electro-pop album highlight. Danilova who also moonlights in the group Nika and Rory has expanded her list of influences adding more dance music making the album less of a bummer night-time record. There are still tracks that reach the dark heights of earlier songs like “Tower” and “I Can’t Stand” like “Lick The Palm Of The Burning Handshake” and “Skin” but tracks like “Shivers” and “Ioxde” take the brooding to new more pleasurable heights. Conatus is released October 4th on Sacred Bones.

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Zola Jesus’s second album Contnus is set for an October 4th release, and avid readers may have already hear the dark brooding “Vessel.” Today’s song of the day is a another cut from the album “Seekir” a more dance oriented track perfectly suited for Nika’s operatic vocals.

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Zola Jesus aka Nika Roza Danilova has gone a long way from her first LP. Last year she released two EPs removing the lo-fi sound of her LP and creating an expansive goth-pop sound showcasing her strong vocals. On October 4th she will release her second LP completing the transformation. Conatus is an even more expanded Stridulum. While the record doesn’t come out for months, the band have released the first single “Vessel.” The mid-tempo track boasts stronger production and Nika’s breathtaking vocals.

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Former Ghosts is a gloomy super-group of sorts featuring This Song Is A Mess But So Am I originator Freddy Ruppert, Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart, and the now hot shit Nika Roza aka Zola Jesus. Their first record Fluers was an underrated dark reverb heavy record, which fell off the radar of most. This time around, Former Ghosts seem to have a wider audience, mostly due to the rise of Zola Jesus. Not to discount the great work by the other two-thirds of the group, as Ruppert is the ringleader, but Nika Roza’s star is definitely on the rise. This latest track, “Chin Up” and first from the band’s new record “New Love” out October 4th, features a dark keyboard beat that wouldn’t be out of place on the last two Xiu Xiu records. Over top, there are scratches and scrapes, while Nika Roza’s wailing vocals command the track taking it to new heights. This track would fit perfectly in the playlist of a darkwave/goth night.

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nika rory

Now the duo are back with another track and today’s song (via Transparent) “I’m Not Going Anywhere.” Like “LA SUXXX” there is auto-tune, but Nika’s vocals are less manipulated, and damn that girl can howl. The beat is darker, but still more pop oriented then Zola Jesus. The chorus is pretty triumphant as well.

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Springtime, here we come. There are lots of releases, so keep checking back week-to-week to see what’s good. Wouldn’t you just be lost without me?