Zola Jesus

Listen: “Soak”

Jul 11, 2017

Zola Jesus has always had a dramatic bent to her songwriting and production. This intensifies on her new song "Soak", the second song from her forthcoming album Okovi to be released September 8th via Sacred Bones. The press release descibes the new song: "Furthering the intense narrative of Okovi, “Soak” is written through the lens of serial killer’s victim, clinging to life and about to be dumped in the water."

Zola Jesus takes us into the mindstate of a harrowing scene: “I was thinking about this crucial moment inside the victim’s mind, when she knows she’s going to die. She thinks back at her life and the futility of the decisions she made, when in the end her life would be cut short against her will,” says Zola Jesus of the track.“What’s the point of trying to navigate life if you don’t even get to choose how it ends? Instead of letting her fate be determined by someone else, she takes back control and turns it around, so instead, in her mind, she is choosing to die. She lets the killer assist her in suicide, as she gets tossed into the water and slowly drowns. Through writing this song the story evolved within me, and I saw how it mirrored my own feelings inside.”

Here is Zola Jesus' statement about the new album:

"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."

Judging from "Soak", Zola Jesus' new album will be a dark and exciting ride. "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 speaks of tragedy with great wisdom and clarity. Its songs plumb dark depths, but they reflect light as well". Listen to "Soak" below and check out the dates for her national tour.




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

10/24 - Malmo, SE - Ikonst

10/25 - Gothenburg, SE - Nefertiti

10/26 - Copenhagen, DK - Jazzhouse

10/28 - Cologne, DE - Luxor

10/29 - Brighton, UK - The Haunt

10/31 - Glasgow, UK - St. Luke’s

11/01 - Manchester, UK - Band on the Wall

11/02 - Leeds, UK - Belgrave Music Hall

11/03 - Norwich, UK - Arts Centre

11/04 - Liverpool, UK - Stanley Theatre

11/06 - Dublin, IE - Whelan’s

11/07 - London, UK - Village Underground

11/08 - Paris, FR - Le Point Ephémère

11/12 - Geneva, CH - La Gravière

11/14 - Roma, IT - Monk

11/15 - Bologna, IT -  Locomotiv

11/16 - Bern, CH - Dampfzentrale

11/17 - Milan, IT - Magnolia

11/18 - Zagreb, HR - Mocvara

11/20 - Nuremburg, DE -  Z-Bau

11/21 - Vienna, AT - Fluc

11/22 - Berlin, DE - SO36

11/23 - Leipzig, DE - UT Connewitz

11/25 - Frankfurt, DE - Mousonturm

11/27 - Brussels, BE - Beursschouwburg

11/28 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso

11/29 - Hamburg, DE - Uebel & Gefahrlich


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