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Zola Jesus announces sixth album, ‘Arkhon’, and shares first single

'Lost' is the first taste of Nika Roza Danilova's first album in five years

By Joe Goggins

Zola Jesus press shot, 2022
'Arkhon' is Zola Jesus' first record in five years. (Photo: Press)

Zola Jesus has announced her first album in five years, ‘Arkhon’, and shared a new single – you can hear it below.

According to a press release , ‘Lost’ is a first taste of a change in direction for the artist, real name Nika Roza Danilova. “At some point, I had to work with other people,” she said of eschewing her previously insular creative process. “I needed new blood. I needed somebody else.” Accordingly, she brought in Randall Dunn to handle production duties, whilst Matt Chamberlain – a studio veteran who’s played for everybody from Fiona Apple to Bob Dylan – was on drums. 

“When I look back at my work, I see there’s a theme where I fixate on my fear of the unknown,” said Danilova. “That really came into fruition for this record, because I had to let go of so much control. I had to surrender to whatever the outcome would be. That used to be really hard for me, and now I had no other choice.” The album is out via Sacred Bones on May 20th.

Still, Danilova’s progression as a songwriter has not involved an exorcism of the demons at the core of past Zola Jesus records; she’s chosen to embrace it, rather than ignore it, with the album’s title meaning ‘power’ or ‘ruler’ in ancient Greek. “Arkons are a Gnostic idea of power wielded through a flawed god,” she explained. “They taint and tarnish humanity, keeping them corrupted instead of letting them find their harmonious selves. I do feel like we are living in an arkhonic time; these negative influences are weighing extremely heavy on all of us. We’re in a time of arkhons. There’s power in naming that.”

This new angle has also lent itself to ‘Lost’. “Everyone I know is lost,” says Danilova of the track’s meaning. “Lost hope, lost future, lost present, lost planet. There is a collective disillusionment of our burning potential. As we stray further from nature, we drift from ourselves. ‘Lost’  is a sigil to re-discover our coordinates and claim a new path.”