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