Posts Tagged ‘Alex DeGroot’

“Zola Jesus Live At Roadburn 2018” is Zola Jesus first ever live album. Recorded at Roadburn Festival 2018 where Zola Jesus was invited by Jakob Bannon of Converge to play at his curated day. The album was released on May 8th 2020 on all other digital channels.

Also on May 8th 2020 pre-sales will start for the double vinyl and cd version. For a June 2020 release.

Zola Jesus is the stage name of Russian American musician Nika Roza Danilova. Under the name Zola Jesus, she has released a number of genre bending EPs and albums. Her approach is a cross pollination of electronic/industrial, classical, and gothic sounds. All of it coming together as a dark and emotional artistic experience.
Jacob Bannon (Converge) about inviting Zola Jesus for his curated day at Roadburn Festival 2018.

“I first heard Nika’s work on the “Stridulum”  EP (Sacred Bones, 2010). Every aspect of the release connected with me and it soon became a daily listen. The record (and all of her work) was relatable and infectious. I’ve been an avid listener ever since. Watching her artistry grow and deepen over time has been inspiring. “Okovi”, the current release from Zola Jesus is such a powerful album. I am truly honoured to have Nika and Company at Roadburn 2018 as part of my curation.”

Released May 1st, 2020

Zola Jesus:
Nika Roza Danilova – vocals, synth
Alex Degroot – guitar, electronics

For over a decade, Nika Roza Danilova has been recording music as Zola Jesus. She’s been on Sacred Bones Records for most of that time, and “Okovi” marks her reunion with the label.

Fittingly, the 11 electronics-driven songs on Okovi share musical DNA with her early work on Sacred Bones. The music was written in pure catharsis, and as a result, the sonics are heavy, dark, and exploratory. In addition to the contributions of Danilova’s longtime live bandmate Alex DeGroot, producer/musician Wife, cellist/noise-maker Shannon Kennedy from Pedestrian Deposit, and percussionist Ted Byrnes all helped build Okovi’s textural universe.

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. Nika Roza says 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?

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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 signed to Sacred Bones in 2008. In the seven years that followed, we released eight albums together (three LPstwo EPs, two 7”s, a CD-R, and even a DVD). We discovered her via Myspace, which was the common A&R vehicle of the early- to mid-Aughts. Nika is the sole member of Zola Jesus.

Originally released September 8th, 2017