Zola Jesus’ upcoming album Okovi was recorded in the midst of personal tragedy, and “Exhumed” and “Soak,” the two songs we’ve heard from it so far, have felt appropriately dark and heavy. But although new song “Siphon” has perhaps the heaviest inspiration, it’s by far the most straightforwardly lovely and optimistic yet, a warm display of empathy and support: “We’d hate to see you give in to those cold dark nights inside your head.” As Nika Roza Danilova explains:
Initially, I was apprehensive about releasing ‘Siphon’ into the world. This song was not intended for public consumption. It was written for someone very close to me who had attempted suicide for the second time. In the weeks surrounding this tragedy, I desperately tried everything I could to convince them to stay alive. There is no greater horror than watching someone you love physically destroy themselves… not knowing if you would see them tomorrow. In the end, I decided this song needed to be heard, not only by this person, but by others as well.
Listen below, and watch her perform a tender solo piano version of the song during her recent Stereogum Session here.
Okovi is out 9/8 on Sacred Bones.