6th full-length from dark-synth singer Nika Roza Danilova; on rust-colored vinyl; $22
Nika Roza Danilova has been recording music as Zola Jesus for more than a decade. For the majority of that time, she’s been on Sacred Bones Records, 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 on this record was written in pure catharsis, and as a result, the sonics are heavier, darker, and more 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 the textural universe of these songs. Above all, Zola Jesus has crafted a profound meditation on loss and reconciliation that stands tall alongside the great works of its genre. Okovi speaks of tragedy with great wisdom and clarity. Its songs plumb dark depths, but they reflect light as well.