Release Date: Oct 6, 2017
Record label: Cascine
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Electronic, Alternative Dance
When Yumi Zouma released debut EP ‘The Brae’, they did so while their members were scattered in different reaches of the globe. It wasn’t until last year’s debut album ‘Yoncalla’ that the group finally came together to record, helping to form the tight, intimate sound that exuded from every corner, capturing the essence of a group of people making music together in a room. A sense of intimacy is once again present on second full-length effort ‘Willowbank’, but its sensitive touch also evokes the spirit of the Christmas season that the band found themselves recording in at the time.
For the members of New Zealand four-piece Yumi Zouma, it's been a long road home. It started with EPs created from files sent across continents, and progressed to a debut album recorded together but outside their homeland. Willowbank is the great return, the band finally comfortable as a band, heading back to record the follow-up to last year's Yoncalla.
Whether it was the longing that ran through their songs, for a love or a place to call home, or whether it was the physical distance that separated its members, those gaps in-between were what made Yumi Zouma . Their debut, Yoncalla, was the first time all members had been in the same room recording since before the 2011 earthquake that shook Christchurch. During that tumultuous time, in which they were scattered across the globe, files were shared and tracks cobbled together from bits and pieces.
After they got off the road in support of their debut album, Yoncalla, the New Zealand quartet Yumi Zouma headed home to recuperate and start work on another album. The home cooking and familiar spaces led the band to make something much more intimate and 2017's Willowbank is less of a record for sunny day frolics and more of one for a cuddle and a restorative stroll through dusky streets. With songs that never work up a sweat and melodies that caress jangled nerves, the band has crafted chillout music of the best kind.
A unified sense of direction is found on Yumi Zouma's temperate pop songs. The New Zealand four-piece credit the peacefulness of their hometown as an adequate mood to create, a place of refuge where they can give themselves some breathing space to move forward. Which explains why their second full-length effort, Willowbank, sounds like a continuation of last year's Yoncalla, yet forged with a stronger bond, offering an impartial view of pop history while taking some stealthy risks.