Published Jun 06, 2017Nika Roza Danilova released her last album as Zola Jesus with the arrival of Taiga back in 2014, but she's finally ready to unveil the follow-up. Okovi is due out on September 8 via Sacred Bones.
The new LP boasts 11 electronics-driven tracks that capture a "heavy, dark and exploratory" musical mood. It features additional instrumentation from Danilova's live bandmate Alex DeGroot, producer/musician WIFE, cellist/noise-maker Shannon Kennedy (of Pedestrian Deposit) and percussionist Ted Byrnes.
In a statement about the upcoming record, Danilova explained that she moved back to the Wisconsin woods where she grew up, building a small house near her childhood home. The new material was inspired by the change of location, as well as a series of traumatic experiences.
"While writing Okovi, I endured people very close to me trying to die, and others trying desperately not to," she said. "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."
Danilova went on to explain that the album title comes from 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," she continued. "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?"
The music that resulted from exploring those tough questions provides a "deeply personal snapshot of loss, reconciliation, and a sympathy for the chains that keep us all grounded to the unforgiving laws of nature."
You can hear the first sampling from the new record by scrolling past the complete tracklist and streaming "Exhumed" down below. The album artwork is pictured above.
Zola Jesus will also be playing a series of shows across North America this fall, including Canadian stops in Toronto and Vancouver, and you can find the full list of upcoming tour dates below, as well.
4. Ash to Bone
11. Half Life
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