Zola Jesus Announces New Album, Shares First Single “Exhumed”

Zola Jesus has announced the release of her new album, Okovi, and it will be released September 8th via Sacred Bones. For over a decade, Nika Roza Danilova has been recording music as Zola Jesus. She’s been on Sacred Bones Records for most of that time, and Okovi marks her reunion with the label.

Fittingly, the 11 electronics-driven songs on Okovi share musical DNA with her early work on Sacred Bones. The music was written in pure catharsis, and as a result, the sonics are heavy, dark, and exploratory. In addition to 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 helped build Okovi’s textural universe.

With Okovi, Zola Jesus has crafted a profound meditation on loss and reconciliation that stands tall alongside the major works of its genre. The album peaks of tragedy with great wisdom and clarity. Its songs plumb dark depths, but they reflect light as well.

Read below a statement by Zola Jesus about the new release:

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.

She has also shared the first single taken off the new album. Listen to “Exhumed” below:

Okovi‘s artwork & tracklist:


1. Doma
2. Exhumed
3. Soak
4. Ash to Bone
5. Witness
6. Siphon
7. Veka
8. Wiseblood
9. NMO
10. Remains
11. Half Life

It was also announced a full national tour following the release of Zola Jesus new album. See all tour dates below:

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

Photo Credit: Tim Saccenti
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