Zola Jesus shares new single & video, “Desire”

Zola Jesus has released a new song, “Desire,” the second single from Arkhon, her first album in five years, out May 20th on Sacred Bones. The single comes with a new video directed by A. F. Cortes.

A minimal yet sweeping track, “Desire” features only Danilova and her piano. The melodies ebb and flow like tides, filling the space only to recede as echoes in the air. It boldy demands compassion and care at the end of a relationship, a final request before it truly comes to a close. Like the song, the video is raw and bare, largely focused on the artist and her piano.

Danilova’s quote on the new track: “‘Desire’ was written in one sitting at my piano at home. The song was an exorcism for my pain and lack of closure around heartbreak. Sometimes songs are written simply for the cathartic effect of playing them. This is one of those songs. Performing it feels like the most tangible way to experience that closure for myself. Some days I would sit at home playing this song over and over on my piano, just to provide myself that sense of control over what I was feeling. I recorded the song at the studio in one take, and also got video while I was there to document the memory of the performance. The footage of that day is the core of the video for ‘Desire.’

Director Cortes shared their own experience with the song and video: “I’ve seen Zola Jesus perform live many times in the past. Still, nothing prepared me to see the vulnerability of this piece unfolding as it was performed in front of my camera. It was visceral, personal, and profoundly moving. From that first shoot day, I knew I wanted to complement the live performance with a parallel story: A tale of grief, loss, and the capacity of a cathartic metamorphosis to overcome personal trauma. All set in a minimal space, a transitional moment of learning how to let go of the baggage of a previous existence. In making this piece I wanted to capture a unique moment in time that reflects the vulnerability of the music.

Listen to “Desire” and watch the video below:

Photo credit: Shervin Lainez
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