Friday, October 6, 2017

Yumi Zouma - Willowbank

Some bands get your attention by hitting you over the head, punching you in the gut, or simply (and often effectively) yelling at you.  Yumi Zouma is not such a band.  The New Zealanders (all from Christchurch but often living elsewhere) envelope the listener with sweet melodies and soft, cooing vocals, providing a listening experience like being in along a seashore with the light marine fog dispersing in the sunlight.  The band's first album was the well-received Yoncalla.  They now follow with Willowbank

On this outing the band really don't do anything dramatically different -- nor should they have.  They know their sweet spot and they work it to great effect.  Their melodic sense is superb.   The compositions choose warmth over drama, painting in pastels and wrapped in gauze, but their arrangements manage the tricky feat of being dynamic as well as gentle.  The rhythm portions of the track are inventive, interesting, and drive the songs perfectly.   The genre is synth pop/electro pop, but many of these songs would slot into a dancefloor mix quite comfortably.  If you like synth pop, you really need to explore this album.

Yumi Zouma is Christie Simpson, Sam Perry, Charlie Ryder and Josh Burgess..  Willowbank is out now via Cascine.


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