We’ve had the privilege of an advance listening to the new Zola Jesus album Okovi, to be released September 8th. Fitting timing, that date, as we can definitively report that it is a dark, moody autumn sort of record – the result of her having suffered through some particularly affecting personal tragedies.
Whilst we wait, she releases today the genuinely unsettling video for the haunted single “Exhumed.” On the song itself, her chilling banshee wailing doesn’t seem so much an aesthetic choice as a cathartic one: “In the white nights, what you asked for / Fire like you and now conform / Give you the marks over this war” she howls, and purges, enigmatically.
The video mesmerizes and disturbs in equal measure, with its ghostly, hyper-flashing black & white imagery. “Exhumed was personally conceived of and created whilst processing death,” explains director Jacqueline Castel, “of family members and of relationships – and much like Okovi‘s core themes, it is a reflection on loss, heritage, and the often painful personal growth we must harness in the face of life’s constant evolution.
Shot in just one day, in apparently stifling heat, she recalls how they, “sought to capture personal apocalypse, utilizing experimental shooting techniques to further our emotional goals. Practically and metaphorically, we fought to find the light in the darkest of forests.”
If you look hard, you can see it in there.