TRACK: Zola Jesus beautifully refashions the Armenian folk standard, ‘Krunk’

Zola Jesus, photographed by Tim Saccenti

ZOLA JESUS has gone back to her roots with a beautiful and deep take on the Armenian folk standard, “Krunk”; be enraptured by our embed herein.

The track was originally released on the final Bandcamp Friday of the year, with all proceeds going towards the Armenia Fund, and its efforts to provide humanitarian aid during the conflict with Azerbaijan.

Zola, who is herself of first-generation Ukrainian descent and who formally goes by her Slavic name, Nika Roza Danilova, had this to say of an astonishing version: 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 [the disputed region at the heart of the conflict], 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).

While we’ve embedded the track below, we’re sure you’d want it more permanently in your collection, and for a humanitarian cause; head over to her Bandcamp page.

Follow Zola Jesus on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at her website.

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