What does it mean to be an artist in this day and age, throughout constant uncertainty, a world that seems more precarious by the day, and an industry that is still piecing itself back together? This is the question that has plagued Zola Jesus, and one she works through meticulously in her new album, Arkhon, out Friday, June 24th via Sacred Bones Records.
It’s a sonically adventurous album while also lyrically dense, packed with ruminations on spirituality and purpose, hopefulness and despair. “It’s okay to feel hopeless, so long as we can pick ourselves up and accept the work that lays ahead of us,” she tells Consequence.
Born Nika Roza Danilova, the artist is now releasing her sixth album as Zola Jesus, following 2017’s Okovi, the remix edition Okovi: Additions in 2018, and the live album Roadburn 2018 in 2020. There’s a palpable emotionality woven into Arkhon, and it feels aptly reflective of these tumultuous times. As broad as some of the themes may be, though, Zola Jesus gets to the heart of what it means to be an artist in particular right now.
With the release of the new record, she unpacks each song and provides insight into the making of each piece of the collection. Listen to Arkhon and check out the inspiration behind each track below.