Zola Jesus – “Krunk”
It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from Zola Jesus. Nika Roza Danilova is always active online, offering her insights on the state of the world and the music industry. But aside from her version of “Changes” popping up on Sacred Bones’ Black Sabbath tribute album earlier this year, Zola fans have been waiting a bit for new music. She’s back with something today, for the latest Bandcamp Friday.
Zola Jesus’ latest is maybe something of a surprise: a rendition of an Armenian folk song. Here’s what Danilova had to say about it:
I first heard the song “Krunk” (Crane) while listening to a collection of songs sung by Lousine Zakarian, a renowned Armenian soprano. 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.)
Zola’s version of “Krunk” is haunting and atmospheric, a showcase for her operatic vocal prowess before it collapses into a hiss of noise at its conclusion. Check it out below.