Zola Jesus uses close-up shots and fake blood to add claustrophobic intensity to “Siphon,” a track from the singer’s recently released Okovi album that reckons with the attempted suicide of a close friend.
For much of the new clip, directed by Zia Anger, the camera is within inches of Zola Jesus’ face. When it eventually pans out, fake blood starts to shower the singer, covering her arms and obscuring her vision. During the video’s final minute, the camera holds steady as Zola Jesus wipes fake blood away from her face. The singer returns to the imploring refrain – “won’t let you bleed out, can’t let you bleed out” – as glacial electronics rumble and thump in the background.
“It was a very sobering experience to be trusted with such visceral material,” Anger said in a statement.
Okovi, Zola Jesus’ fifth album, came out in September. “While writing Okovi, I endured people very close to me trying to die, and others trying desperately not to,” the singer said in a statement. “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 … what gives us the right to live? And moreover, what gives us the right to die? Are we really even free to choose?”
Zola Jesus tours Europe in support of Okovi through November.