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 peaks of tragedy with great wisdom and clarity. Its songs plumb dark depths, but they reflect light as well.
Devon Welsh makes intimate music. His performances are bare and magnetic, his lone presence communicating directly with the audience. When he plays alone the Montreal-based artist sings against a simple backdrop of soft looping music, using his voice and words to engage with emotions and energies within the space. Formerly of the musical project Majical Cloudz, which culminated in 2016, Devon Welsh is currently preparing his first album for official release under his given name.