Zola Jesus is back in a big way with new single "Exhumed." An experimental electronic track with industrial overtones, the tune is the first release from her forthcoming fifth record, Okovi, which means “shackles” in certain Slavic languages.
As with most of her work, "Exhumed" has traces of menace, with thundering percussion, dynamic electronic production and Nika Roza Danilova (or is that Nicole Rose Hummel?) powerful vocals.
The album is shaping up as her most emotional yet, with the young American following in the footsteps of Bon Iver and retreating to the woods to record the album. You can read Zola Jesus' full statement on the album below;
"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."
Okovi is set for release September 8.