Zola Jesus has streamed a brand new sing, Krunk, which you can listen to below. The song is a cover of an Armenian folk standard, initially as a Bandcamp exclusive single with proceeds going towards the Armenia Fund and their efforts to provide humanitarian aid during the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan. It’s the first new music from Zola Jesus since the release of 2017’s Okovi album.
“I first heard the song Krunk (Crane) while listening to a collection of songs sung by Lousine Zakarian, a renowned Armenian soprano,” she explains. “Her recording was so devastatingly beautiful, it spoke to me on many levels. The song evoked so much yearning and sadness, yet at the same time it felt so delicate, like her voice could lift off and fly away. It felt like the purest expression of the ineffable Armenian Soul. I never thought I’d be able to do the song justice, and I still don’t, but the song is so meaningful to me that performing it became a compulsion.
“Once I heard about the crisis happening in Artsakh, my heart really pained for the Armenian people. They have survived genocides, wars, battles for autonomy and independence, and now this — fighting to reclaim a sacred place that represents so much of their ancient heritage and resilience. I wanted to honor and pay my support to the Armenian Soul, and to acknowledge all the lives tragically lost this year in the war with Azerbaijan. Proceeds of this song will go to the Armenian Fund, to help support the needs of civilians on the ground in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh.)”
Nika Roza Danilova has been recording and performing as Zola Jesus for more than a decade. As a classically trained opera singer with a penchant for noisy, avant-garde sounds, she launched her career with a series of lo-fi releases that pitted her soaring vocals against harsh industrial clatter and hittery synths. The signature Zola Jesus sound became more hi-fi as she began to explore her own skewed vision of pop music on releases like Stridulum, Valusia, and Conatus.