Photo by Tim Saccenti

Acclaimed electropop artist Nika Roza Danilova alias ZOLA JESUS has detailed her new studio album. The follow-up to 2014’s Taiga arrives on September 8 via Sacred Bones Records and goes by the name Okovi. It’s a return to her early days according to the press release and she has also shared the following statement with the announcement, explaining the nature of the event:

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.

ZOLA JESUS has also shared first music in the form of Exhumed, Soak and Siphon below.

‘Okovi’ – Tracklist

01. Doma
02. Exhumed
03. Soak
04. Ash to Bone
05. Witness
06. Siphon
07. Veka
08. Wiseblood
09. NMO
10. Remains
11. Half Life