Friday, May 27, 2016

Yumi Zouma - Yoncalla

Yoncalla, the first full album from New Zealand's Yumi Zouma is a box of jewels -- sparkling, well polished and perfectly cut.  There is nothing gaudy or overboard, just restrained elegance; elegance born of delicate and pristine vocals, tasteful and well detailed production, and the kind of endearing melodies that keep prompting you to look at the clouds and think happy thoughts.  The arrangements are spacious and hooky, with a hint of bubbling lo-key disco, allowing the album to serve as a party track as well as a backdrop for lower key times.

Possibly no track on Yoncalla will hit you in the face and scream "mega hit", although "Short Truth" and "Barricade" deserve to prove me wrong, and several other could have a long life on radio and playlists as well.  Rather, they all will seep into your brain with repeated listens, becoming welcome new friends.   Moreover, the band has used their long buildup to their first album well, creating a set of songs that is consistent and high quality.  Shimmering pop with not duds -- this album is a winner!

Yoncalla is released today, May 27, via Cascine, Arch Hill (Australia/New Zealand), Rallye (Japan) and Double Deer (Indonesia).


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