Zola Jesus has announced that her next record, Okavi, will be released on September 8th. Written in pure catharsis, the sonics have been described as heavy, dark, and exploratory.
Having released three EPs and five full-length albums, Nika Roza Danilova, aka Zola Jesus, has been recording music for more than a decade. Her musical style has been associated with a wide variety of artists including Ian Curtis, Lydia Lunch, Diamanda Galás, Throbbing Gristle, Swans, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance) and Elizabeth Frazer (Cocteau Twins.) However, Zola Jesus has the innate ability to echo these artists while still maintaining her own idiosyncratic style.
The album is a deeply personal offering, written at a time of great conflict and personal tragedy in the artist’s life. Thus, it embodies a dark and experimental atmosphere, both cathartic and exploratory. 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 aided in creating the textured soundscape of the album.
Speaking of the album, she says: 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.
Watch the video for ‘Exhumed’ below: