Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by Cheryl Waters, host of The Midday Show on KEXP, is "The Fall" by Zola Jesus, from the 2022 album Arkhon on Sacred Bones.

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photo by Shervin Lainez
written by janice headley

Zola Jesus returns with her sixth full-length later this month titled Arkhon. The artist, whose real name is Nika Roza Danilova, explains that the title translates to "power" or "ruler" in ancient Greek.

"Arkons are a Gnostic idea of power wielded through a flawed god," Danilova elaborated via a press release. "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." 

Today's Song of the Day taps into that power. "I wrote ‘The Fall’ for myself," she said. "It was an exercise in using music as a tool for the sake of my own inner catharsis. I had a lot of turmoil and complicated emotions that I couldn’t process in any other way. I suppose some feelings require you to write a pop song in order to fully understand them. For that reason, this song is very precious to me."

The single was released with a stunning video clip, posted below. “Working with Jenni Hensler as a director was such a soul-feeding experience," Danilova added. "She’s someone I’ve been collaborating with for 10 years, and a dear friend to me. I value her own artistic perspective so much that at some point I realized there was no one else I could trust with my vision. We connected on an emotional and spiritual level regarding the intent of the song, and then I handed it over and let her make her magic. I’ve never felt so freed by a collaboration. And working with choreographer Sigrid Lauren was such an empowering experience. She was able to interpret and support my idiosyncratic movements in a way that allowed me to feel free in the moment.”

Arkhon is out June 24th via Sacred Bones.

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