Rimsky Korsakov
„Nightingale And The Rose“

Korsakov is a Russian composer and this song is just purely beautiful. It has some kind of an Eastern sound. I love the voices in the beginning when it’s all a capella, I love voices that stand alone. I’m always looking for operatic songs that let the voice be on its own for a little bit. Korsakov is someone whose music I’ve been listening to for a while now, but I discovered this piece just recently – and has become something that I’ve been playing non-stop. My music is never too directly referential, but I love to take pieces or ideas to incorporate them into my own style. Here, it is the harmonies and the choral impact that I got inspired by.


Domenico Scarlatti
„Sonata in C Minor“

I was watching the show Hannibal and they use a lot of harpsichord music. Every time Hannibal would be cooking he would be listening to harpsichord music – and then I just started listening to harpsichord music when I was cooking, too, so that I could feel more like Hannibal. (laughs) Now I just started listening to it all the time. (laughs again) It sounds kinda weird, but I really got into it. There are elements on Okovi where I tried to put harpsichord in there, too.


Boys Next Door

I’m obsessed with this song from Nick Cave’s first band. I love how he opens it: „I’ve been contemplating suicide / but it just doesn’t suit my style / so I think I’ll just act bored instead“. (laughs) It’s such a dark song, but at the same time the way the song is written almost undercuts its darkness and sounds like a doo-wopy thing. The melody is working against the dark lyrics and the bleak atmosphere. When I wrote „Siphon“ while someone very close to me had attempted suicide, „Shivers“ was definitely on my mind.

I want to learn to accept death just as another part of life. Getting older is normal, getting through tough times in life is normal. Death should be just as normal, too. I’m terrified of actually dying. I guess it’s very Western that no one wants death to happen. But I don’t think it’s a healthy way to look at it. Everyone is going to die. There is just a naturalism to death that people don’t want to admit. You’re not letting life happen like this. You try to counteract, to control it. I don’t want to live that way.



This Ukrainian black metal song made me get into guitar which I used to hate since I listened to too much guitar music as a teen, punk and stuff. But now I’ve been like: I’m gonna put a guitar in my record! This is the very first time you will hear guitar stuff in my music. I tried to treat the guitar sound, though, it’s more textural and not obviously revealing its sound source. It’s more abstract – and Moloch was definitely inspiring me to do so. I liked the intensity of „E.Khu“ and the way the guitars are distorted. It just feels like a wall of noise rather than just a guitar.

Okovi by Zola Jesus will be released on September 8th via Sacred Bones.