Zola Jesus announces new album, Okovi, shares “Exhumed” — listen

Plus, Nika Roza Danilova lines up a North American fall tour in support

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    Photo by Tim Saccenti

    After a go with Mute Records for her 2014 album, Taiga, gothic pop artist Zola Jesus has returned home to label Sacred Bones for the follow-up. Titled Okovi, it’s due for arrival on September 8th.

    According to a press release, much of Okovi echoes her early work released on Sacred Bones, the music “written in pure catharsis” and its sound “heavy, dark, and exploratory.” The LP serves as “a profound meditation on loss and reconciliation,” following a number of personal tragedies in Zola’s life over the years. She explains further in a lengthy yet poignant accompanying statement:

    “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.”

    As a first teaser, the musician born Nika Roza Danilova has shared “Exhumed”, the ominous and rattling lead single. Stream it down below.

    Okovi Artwork:

    zola jesus okovi sacred bones album 2017 Zola Jesus announces new album, Okovi, shares Exhumed    listen

    Okovi Tracklist:
    01. Doma
    02. Exhumed
    03. Soak
    04. Ash to Bone
    05. Witness
    06. Siphon
    07. Veka
    08. Wiseblood
    09. NMO
    10. Remains
    11. Half Life

    In support of the new album, Zola will tour North America beginning in September.

    Zola Jesus 2017 Tour Dates:
    09/16 – Hudson, NY @ Basilica Soundscape
    09/21 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
    09/22 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
    09/23 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
    09/25 – Dallas, TX @ Kessler Theater
    09/26 – Austin, TX @ North Door
    09/27 – New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
    09/28 – Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5
    09/29 – Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight
    09/30 – Washington, DC @ U Street
    10/01 – Boston, MA @ ICA Boston
    10/03 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA
    10/04 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
    10/06 – Toronto, ON @ Longboat Hall
    10/07 – Detroit, MI @ Assemble Sound Church
    10/08 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
    10/09 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
    10/10 – St. Paul, MN @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
    10/11 – Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
    10/14 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
    10/16 – Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club
    10/17 – San Francisco, CA @ Independent
    10/19 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile
    10/20 – Portland, OR @ The Old Church
    10/21 – Vancouver, BC @ Venue
    11/07 – London, UK @ Village Underground