Zola Jesus, the stage name for Nika Roza Danilova, is about to unravel new music for her fans with a new album and new single ready to be devoured. Okovi is Zola Jesus’s sixth album and is set to be available for purchase on September 8th through Sacred Bones. A personal album that will bring fans closer to the artist’s roots.
To get ready for the release, Zola has released her first single from the album titled, “Exhumed.” The song is the second track off Okovi and is brooding and exemplifies what makes Zola Jesus the gothic pop icon that she is.
The songs included in the album are full of wisdom about loss and tragedy that speaks at the heart of Zola. The album was written following a return to rural Wisconsin, home to where Zola was raised during a rough time in her life. In a sentiment statement, Danilova says; “I endured people very close to me trying to die, and others trying desperately not to. 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.”
Nika Roza Danilova has spent the last decade making music under the name, Zola Jesus. Sacred Bones Records has been her studio home most of that time and with Okovi, it marks her return with the label. Zola’s last album was released through Mute and in a statement, she says that the people of Sacred Bones are; “the closest group of people I’ll ever have to blood-bound family.”
The album includes contributions from Danilova’s long time live bandmate, Alex DeGroot, Shannon Kennedy from Pedestrian Deposit and Ted Byrnes. They all come together to help build Okovi’s textural universe. Okovi, which is the Slavic word for “shackles” is not only her return to Sacred Bones but it also represents a return to her roots as well as a road through personal traumas of her life.
In the personal statement that Zola gives, she talks further about the symbolism behind the album’s title saying; “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?”
Following the release of Okovi, Zola has planned to embark on a national tour all across America starting in September and ending November in London. The tour dates of her tour can be seen below.
OKOVI TRACK LIST:
4. Ash to Bone
11. Half Life
ZOLA JESUS 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
For more on Zola Jesus, take a look at Black Asteroid’s new music video to their song, “Howl” featuring Zola herself.
Photo credit: Pamela Lin