New Zealand's Yumi Zouma make music that seems so simple, and yet it is rich and wildly melodic. The band's new album, Willowbank, drops on Cascine on Friday and I'm here to tell you why you should get it.
Numbers here, like the soaring "December" and the undulating "Half Hour", are bits of sleek modern rock that recall the glory days of bands on the 4AD label, as well as disparate influences like Frente! and New Order. The line-up here -- Christie Simpson, Charlie Ryder, Josh Burgess, and Sam Perry -- offer up a remarkably easygoing take on this sort of thing, and the tunes flow past without a lot of pretension or over-production. A number like "Us, Together" is gloriously lush even if it's modest and mellow. Elsewhere, the lyrical "Persephone" sees Christie Simpson sing over the top of a sleek, supple electronic texture that, oddly, recalls some moments on earlier Pale Saints records, or mid-Nineties ones from Cocteau Twins. None of my praise is meant to peg this lot a shoegaze outfit, but, clearly, fans of "ethereal" stuff might find a lot to love here. A closer comparison, rather, is the newest one from Slowdive as, like that band, Yumi Zouma have a knack for taking the simplest of elements and crafting them into something lovely and simplistically compelling.
[Photo: Aaron Lee]