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Hear Zola Jesus' Menacing New Song, 'Soak'

Nika Roza Danilova, the singer and producer known as Zola Jesus, has been through a lot since her last full-length, 2014's Taiga. "I endured people very close to me trying to die, and others trying desperately not to," she said in a statement recently. "Meanwhile, I was fighting through a haze so thick I wasn't sure I'd find my way to the other side. Death, in all of its masks, has been encircling everyone I love, and with it the questions of legacy, worth, and will."

Zola Jesus digs through these personal traumas on her upcoming album Okovi, and has just shared her second single from the record, "Soak." It's both lovely and menacing, with rumbling percussion and jagged synths. "You should know I would never let you drown," she sings. "Take me to the water, let me soak in slaughter."

In a statement about "Soak," Danilova says the track was written from the perspective of a serial killer's victim. "I was thinking about this crucial moment inside the victim's mind, when she knows she's going to die," she says. "She thinks back at her life and the futility of the decisions she made, when, in the end her life would be cut short against her will. What's the point of trying to navigate life if you don't even get to choose how it ends? Instead of letting her fate be determined by someone else, she takes back control and turns it around, so instead, in her mind, she is choosing to die. She lets the killer assist her in suicide, as she gets tossed into the water and slowly drowns. Through writing this song the story evolved within me, and I saw how it mirrored my own feelings inside."

Zola Jesus previously shared the immediately arresting song "Exhumed," from Okovi. The album is due out Sept. 8 on Sacred Bones.

Copyright NPR 2017.

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