15 Oct 2019
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Yumi Zouma - Album Review: Willowbank

02 Nov 2017 // A review by Corinne Rutherford

I have crossed the path of Yumi Zouma once before when I reviewed their first track on this album which was released as a single back in August. Willowbank is the sophomore album to Yoncalla, their debut originals LP.

Depths (Pt I.) eases you into Willowbank, it is upbeat and catchy, it sparkles and shines and invites us to join this inspirational musical journey which twists and turns through 12 tracks eventually ending up at Depths (Pt II), a reprise of the opening track. A culmination of this musical collaboration and a beautiful ending to this album, but I shouldn’t be talking about the ending without describing all the juicy stuff in the middle.

Lyrically I did find that Yumi Zouma have found a deeper, well rounded angle to this latest album. It is still dream pop but perhaps not the light and airy kind of past ventures, yes it is ethereal and breezy but I found some serious reflective undertones lurking around this album. Maybe it is because they recorded Willowbank in a studio amongst the semi-demolished CBD of Christchurch, or perhaps because at last they were collaborating together in their hometown.  The taste of pavlova and scent of Pohutukawa blossoms in their thoughts.

This is the band’s first significant work written and recorded entirely in New Zealand as opposed to the bands musical endeavours of the past; this was truly a Kiwi band producing music from NZ.

Yumi Zouma have a committed and large fan base and it is easy to hear why, the music is soft and peppy with a 70's disco feel. "Serene disco" is how UK newspaper The Guardian put it. I once called their music “Utopian in the mythical dreamy sense of the word”, to me it has this element but also has a natural graceful flow peppered with energetic bursts and touches of melancholy.

This all may sound like a hodge podge of genres, but it works together well to create a unique and lovely album.

The band which have been described as “gauzy New Zealand indie-popers” have created a lengthy rather lovely album from the summer they spent together at home.

They continue to be fragmented, scattered in exotic locations such as New York and Paris and touring like demons.  Pulling in large crowds of people with their immense popularity overseas, and once again opening for Lorde, Yumi Zouma can be proud that they produced this magical album.

Going from loud and hectic to soft and dreamy, this has been a winning transition I would say.


Review written by Corinne Rutherford

 

About Yumi Zouma

Yumi Zouma are three friends from New Zealand now living internationally in New York and Paris. Their music is timeless, honest and direct. Their debut EP Yumi Zouma was Cascine's first release of 2014.




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Yumi Zouma

Releases

Willowbank
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Yoncalla
Year: 2016
Type: Album
EP I & II
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Yumi Zouma
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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