Nika Roza Danilova, better known as her stage name, Zola Jesus shared her new album titled Okovi this past September via Sacred Bones. Before releasing the record, Danilova released a preview of her track, “Siphon.” A personal song that she wrote in a wake of a tragedy, her friend had attempted suicide.
Today, she releases a new music video for the track showcasing just how personal the song is. The video was filmed in collaboration with director Zia Anger while Zola was in upstate New York for the Basilica Soundscape festival last month. In a press release, Anger had this to say about the video; “It was a very sobering experience to be trusted with such visceral material.”
In the new music video, Danilova is standing in nature, surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the Hudson Valley. She stares off in the distance as though singing to someone, someone in need of her help. Lyrically, the song is beautiful, her way of dealing with the pain of almost losing someone close. She sings, “Cause we’d rather clean the blood of a living man / We’d hate to see you give into these cold, dark nights inside your head.”
By the time Zola Jesus gets to the final refrain of “Won’t let you bleed out, can’t let you bleed out,” she is drenched in blood as it rains down from the sky covering her arms and obscuring her vision.
She doesn’t move as the blood washes over her. Her hands shake as she bathes in blood, unable to touch her own skin. It is a raw and personal shot and it is clear with how up close the camera gets to Zola. For most of the video, Anger focuses the camera just inches from Danilova’s face. Fans watch as they share in her pain, they too are unable to move away, unable to wash the blood off their body. For those who have experienced with suicide, it is all too real.
“There is no greater horror than watching someone you love physically destroy themselves…” Danilova says in a press release, “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.”
Watch the emotional music video below.
Photo Credit: Pamela Lin