Zola Jesus shares a new single, “Siphon". The track was co-produced by Zola Jesus (a.k.a. Nika Roza Danilova), WIFE, and Alex DeGroot. “Siphon” is the third single off of Zola
Jesus’ highly anticipated new albumOkovi, out September 8th via Sacred Bones.
Speaking about the single, Nika Roza Danilova, aka Zola Jesus, said: "Initially, I was apprehensive about releasing Siphon into the world. This song was not intended for public consumption. It was written for someone very close to me who had attempted suicide for the second time. In the weeks surrounding this tragedy, I desperately tried everything I could to convince them to stay alive. There is no greater horror than watching someone you love physically destroy themselves… not knowing if you would see them tomorrow . In the end, I decided this song needed to be heard, not only by this person, but by others as well."
New album 'Okovi' due Sept 8th via Sacred Bones. UK tour dates announced!
Zola Jesus is sharing a new video for her recent single "Exhumed" taken from her upcoming album 'Okovi', which is due Sept 8th via Sacred Bones. As
well as this, Zola Jesus is excited to announce that Sacred Bones will release a 'Stridulum' LP on Sept 8th, which collects the previously released 'Stridulum' and 'Valusia' EPs
together as one volume.
Director & long time collaborator Jacqueline Castel explains the thoughts behind the "Exhumed' video:
"Exhumed was personally conceived of and created whilst processing death - of family members and of relationships - and much like Okovi's core themes, it is a reflection on loss, heritage, and the often painful personal growth we must harness in the face of life's constant evolution. Shot intimately in one day, in the exhausting heat within the woods surrounding Nika's Wisconsin home, we sought to capture personal apocalypse, utilizing experimental shooting techniques to further our emotional goals. Practically and metaphorically, we fought to find the light in the darkest of forests."
For over a decade, Nika Roza Danilova has been recording music as Zola Jesus. With 'Okovi', the Wisconsin-based artist has crafted a profound meditation on loss and reconciliation that stands tall alongside the major works of its genre. The album speaks of tragedy with great wisdom and clarity. Its songs plumb dark depths, but they reflect light as well. 'Okovi' will be released September 8, 2017 via Sacred Bones.
Also out on September 8 will be the newly announced 'Stridulum' LP, which collects two previously released Zola Jesus EPs, 'Stridulum' & 'Valusia' as one record, having both been originally put out in 2010.
In the words of Nika:
"Seven years ago, it was winter break at university in Madison, Wisconsin. There was a snowstorm that covered the city with a still white haze. Not a single person in the streets. I was sitting on my bed with a cheap keyboard and a computer, screaming into the void.
I barely remember writing the songs. It was a chaotic point in my life. I had no time to think about process or intent. It was a purge. I do remember taking a break from recording, bundling up, and walking through the barren streets while listening to the demos I’d made. The world, at once, felt clear.
After writing and producing what would become the Stridulum EP, I contacted a new friend, Alex DeGroot, to come over and record my vocals. He was studying audio engineering and had more knowledge and gear than I could dream of. He helped mix Stridulum, too, because all I had was a pair of headphones. (Since then, Alex has stuck by me, as a live bandmate, technical director, co-producer, mixer, and engineer.)
These songs were a huge leap of faith back then. It was my first time singing without layers of distortion, echo, and reverb. It was the first time I peeled back the layers to find out what was at the core. I’m still on that path today, seeing how far I can push myself into unknown places, whether through clarification or destruction. It’s like Stridulum’s still here with me, underneath it all.
Still, it’s surreal to think that this record, made by a 19-year-old girl sitting on a bed in a freezing old house in Madison, would make its way into strangers’ ears seven years later."
Sacred Bones is pleased to unveil 'Soak,' the second song from Zola Jesus’ forthcoming album Okovi, which is set for release Sept 8th. Furthering the intense narrative of Okovi, 'Soak' is written through the lens of serial killer’s victim, clinging to life and about to be dumped in the water.
“I was thinking about this crucial moment inside the victim’s mind, when she knows she’s going to die. She thinks back at her life and the futility of the decisions she made, when in the end her life would be cut short against her will,” says Zola Jesus of the track.
“What’s the point of trying to navigate life if you don’t even get to choose how it ends? Instead of letting her fate be determined by someone else, she takes back control and turns it around,
so instead, in her mind, she is choosing to die. She lets the killer assist her in suicide, as she gets tossed into the water and slowly drowns.Through writing this song the story evolved within me,
and I saw how it mirrored my own feelings inside."
Okovi will be released September 8, 2017 via Sacred Bones with a London show in November and more UK dates to be announced soon.
For over a decade, Nika Roza Danilova has been recording music as Zola Jesus. She’s been on Sacred Bones Records for most of that time, and Okovi marks her reunion with the label.
Fittingly, the 11 electronics-driven songs on Okovi share musical DNA with her early work on Sacred Bones. The music was written in pure catharsis, and as a result, the sonics are heavy, dark, and exploratory. In addition to the contributions of Danilova’s longtime live bandmate Alex DeGroot, producer/musician WIFE, cellist/noise-maker Shannon Kennedy from Pedestrian Deposit, and percussionist Ted Byrnes all helped build Okovi’s textural universe.
With Okovi, Zola Jesus has crafted a profound meditation on loss and reconciliation that stands tall alongside the major works of its genre. The album speaks of tragedy with great wisdom and clarity. Its songs plumb dark depths, but they reflect light as well.
29/10 - Brighton, UK - The Haunt
31/10 - Glasgow, UK - St. Luke’s
01/11 - Manchester, UK - Band on the Wall
02/11 - Leeds, UK - Belgrave Music Hall
03/11 - Norwich, UK - Arts Centre
04/11 - Liverpool, UK - Stanley Theatre
06/11 - Dublin, IE - Whelan’s
07/11 - London, UK - Village Underground
Zola Jesus announces her new album Okovi set for release Sept 8th via Sacred Bones Records, and shares the first single 'Exhumed'. Zola Jesus is set to play a London show on Nov 7th at Village Underground with more European dates to be announced soon.
Speaking about the new record she said "Last year, I moved back to the woods in Wisconsin where I was raised. I built a little house just steps away from where my dilapidated childhood tree fort is slowly recombining into earth. Okovi was fed by this return to roots and several very personal traumas.
While writing Okovi, I endured people very close to me trying to die, and others trying desperately not to. Meanwhile, I was fighting through a haze so thick I wasn’t sure I’d find my way to the other side. Death, in all of its masks, has been encircling everyone I love, and with it the questions of legacy, worth, and will.
Okovi is a Slavic word for shackles. We’re all shackled to something—to life, to death, to bodies, to minds, to illness, to people, to birthright, to duty. Each of us born with a unique debt, and we have until we die to pay it back. Without this cost, what gives us the right to live? And moreover, what gives us the right to die? Are we really even free to choose?
This album is a deeply personal snapshot of loss, reconciliation, and a sympathy for the chains that keep us all grounded to the unforgiving laws of nature. To bring it to life, I decided to
enlist the help of Alex DeGroot, who has been the only constant in my live band and helped mix the Stridulum EP back in 2010. It will be released on Sacred Bones, the closest group of people I’ll
ever have to blood-bound family".
Nika Roza Danilova has been recording music as Zola Jesus for more than a decade. For the majority of that time, she’s been on Sacred Bones Records, and Okovi marks her reunion with the label.
Fittingly, the 11 electronics-driven songs on Okovi share musical DNA with her early work on Sacred Bones. The music on this record was written in pure catharsis, and as a result, the
sonics are heavier, darker, and more exploratory. In addition to the contributions of Danilova’s longtime live bandmate Alex DeGroot, producer/musician WIFE, cellist/noise-maker Shannon Kennedy
from Pedestrian Deposit, and percussionist Ted Byrnes all helped build the textural universe of these songs.
With Okovi, Zola Jesus has crafted a profound meditation on loss and reconciliation that stands tall alongside the great works of its genre. The album speaks of tragedy with great wisdom and clarity. Its songs plumb dark depths, but they reflect light as well.