Straight out of the dreamy greenscapes of New Zealand, the gold lights of Paris and the chaos of New York City, Yumi Zouma are close friends that stumbled upon a good sound.
Listening to the EP from the beginning, it is easy to be led astray.
“Dodi” (the opener) is not the strongest track of the collection. The vocals sound a bit effortless and the music a bit too generic 80s new wave. But, in the context of the Yumi Zouma sound, this is part of the appeal. The cutesy Babysitter’s Club vibe and the crafting of alternative dream-pop is just starting to shine through.
The track “Alena” solidifies what “Dodi” was trying to lay down. High register piano tinkles and the affirmation that “now’s the time” push this track and EP II into party mode.
We are now standing in a room, confetti is raining and the Passiona is poppin’.
The surf-pop guitar lines of “Catastrophe” echo under the high pitched, almost child-like vocals. It’s like primary school love heartache and it is these realistic elements that allow Yumi Zouma to gain my love for them.
We’ve heard the barrage of alternative pop throwing up here, there and everywhere since Lorde invaded our personal spaces, but it is the authenticity of Yumi Zouma (their voices, their primitive synth and arpeggiator setter playing and basic 1980s throwback drum beat) that make them the diamonds in the rough. Instead of being marketed to, we are just sung to – and that’s what music is about yeah?!
The EP’s highlight is “Song For Zoe & Gwen”. This track hit number one on Hype Machine, and rightly so.
It begins like a drive through neon nights on a highway. We are contemplating teenage dreams with more depth than Katy Perry and her skin tight jeans. The drum beat pounds along and sets the feeling for what appears to be the story of a girl’s diary.
The stammering guitar melody streams over the synth waves and we are left awashed in pastels and the belief that hearts break, but we can live.
Relive the 1980s. Dance by yourself in your bedroom. Listen to Yumi Zouma.
Hometown: Christchurch, New Zealand
Latest release: EP II (March, 2015: Cascine)
Sounds like: GL, Ballet School, Ella Thompson
Say what? Yumi Zouma started gaining mad recognition from their Soundcloud over the blogosphere before they had even played a gig. Technology ey?!
Paws and pineapples, Cat