Posts Tagged ‘Truth or Consequences’

New Zealand’s Yumi Zouma continue to make beautiful, gentle indie-pop worth swooning over on album number three “Truth Or Consequences”.

Their dreamy aesthetic remains intact, but there’s a heightened sense of confidence in the group’s songwriting and the way these songs are presented that makes it stand out from their past work. Truth or Consequences stems from sessions in Los Angeles, London, and Christchurch, where Yumi Zouma actively took a collegial approach, often working note-by-note, to ensure the foundations of the album reflected a sense of togetherness.

n the early 2010s, the members of Yumi Zouma spent time together on a New Zealand street that gave its name to their first single, “The Brae.” After the 2011 Christchurch earthquake destroyed that street and much of the city, its members took off for other parts of the globe and soon began writing their first songs over email.

As a result, the band was born, and distance became a recurring theme in Yumi Zouma’s work. This makes sense given the far-flung cities the group of musicians currently call home: New York City for Burgess, London for Ryder, Wellington for Campion, and Simpson remaining in their native Christchurch. Of course, distance can also manifest metaphorically, and it’s in these figurative chasms that Truth or Consequences, Yumi Zouma’s third album and first for Polyvinyl, finds its narrative: romantic and platonic heartbreak, real and imagined emotional distance, disillusionment, and being out of reach. There are no answers, there’s very seldom closure, but there is an undeniable release that comes from saying the truth, if only to oneself.

“In the age we’re living in, there’s an emphasis on making things clear cut” says Burgess about the album’s title. “But in life and in art, nothing is ever that definitive. The truth is usually in the grey zones, and I think that’s so much of what we were trying to explore and understand on this album.”

Whilst exploring these realms, Yumi Zouma deliberately pursued a deeper sense of collaboration in order to craft a record that reflects the bond between them. Produced by the band and mixed by engineer Jake Aron (Solange, Grizzly Bear, Snail Mail), Truth or Consequences stems from sessions in Los Angeles, London, and Christchurch, where the band actively took a collegial approach, often working note-by-note, to ensure the foundations of the album reflected a sense of togetherness.

“We wanted to make the song writing process as egalitarian as possible. Completely sharing the process helped us feel like we were capturing a purer sense of atmosphere,” says Ryder.

Much like how the first moments of a new year can usher in a wave of emotions, the first notes of Truth or Consequences wash over the listener with the contemplative yet rapturous opener “Lonely After,” in which Simpson softly sings “I was embarrassed when I knew who I was, so wild and zealous and overly down for the cause.” As Burgess recalls, it’s about “that pit in your stomach when you start to question your own identity,” who wrote the first lines of the song one lonely New Year’s Eve, during the nebulous beginnings of a budding relationship.

Lead single “Right Track / Wrong Man” exhibits a Balearic tempo and bass-heavy energy that belies its underlying tension. Simpson reveals, “At the time I was living with a boyfriend who was quite lovely, but there wasn’t that passion or excitement that you imagine for yourself when you’re young. That song is about accepting that something’s not working, and deciding to just be on your own for a while.” Album centerpiece “Cool For A Second” coalesces the motif of isolation and its ensuing fallout into a letter to a past connection: Whilst on “Truer Than Ever,” the band draws inspiration from the classics to radiate a brazen spirit of perseverance. “I love the duality in a lot of disco songs, where they’re incredibly upbeat, but there’s real frustration in the lyrics – sort of like, ‘Nothing’s going the way I want, but I’ve got to deal with it any way I can,’” Simpson says.

Throughout, Simpson’s voice gives weight to whispers of impressionistic poetry, shielding hard truths with soft tones, while Burgess’ vocals reveal a rarified dimension of raw and lucid romanticism. With this being the first Yumi Zouma album to feature live drums, courtesy of Campion, Truth or Consequences is a testament to the success of the band’s approach – a unified body of melody that mines the spaces in between.
It’s a gorgeous record whose depth has only grown richer as we’ve been able to spend more time with it. As we begin to enter spring it feels only right to revisit this hopeful, loving album made by long-distance friends. I hope you put it on and take a long walk out in the sunshine.

The quaint, atmospheric synthpop of ‘Southwark’ is hugely charming, the upbeat-but-gentle rollick of ‘Cool For A Second‘ has one of the best choruses the band has conjured up yet and there’s an immediacy to ‘Right Track / Wrong Man’ that makes it immediately endearing.

Some might say there’s a vintage feel to Yumi Zouma’s brand of synth-heavy indie-pop, but it’s more of a timeless feel. These songs shimmer now and will no doubt age beautifully.

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The day before the release of our third album, “Truth or Consequences”, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 an official pandemic. We’d arrived in the United States that morning to play the first show of our North American album release tour in Washington D.C. At this point, all of the tour dates were still set to go ahead, and we were excited to promote an album we had worked on for the last two years. This run was set to be our first ever fully sold-out US tour. The atmosphere was excitable, a little tense, optimistic. However, the chain of events that followed meant that by the time we finished our set that evening, restrictions on venues had been enacted by local governments across the country, and one-after-another, all of our remaining tour dates were cancelled. The performance at DC9 was the first and last show of the Truth or Consequences album tour. It was all over, we went our separate ways and flew home the next day – on our album’s release day.

Touring is often the final piece of the puzzle that is an album campaign – the part you fixate on alone in a room, when you perfect a song and imagine how a crowd will react. You may have listened to certain songs a hundred times during the making of the record, but when you’re out on stage, face-to-face with an audience, this is when you start to truly re-contextualise and re-interpret the music, exploring the boundaries, focusing in on different parts of each song’s musical fabric. A new vocal harmony there, a new bassline there – perhaps you add different chord voicings on guitar, or new drum fills that set a new-found intensity to a section.

So after returning home and spending a few numb weeks adjusting to this strange new way of life, April came, the reality set in, and we quickly started to miss that feeling of exploring our new songs by night. We’d missed out on such a crucial part of the process – with no concrete idea of when we might next get the chance. It felt too soon to move on – we felt the pull to work on new music, but still felt a strong attachment, an unresolved connection to this new record that we’d laboured over and had waited so long to release.

Writing new music around them, we took the songs of Truth or Consequences and found ourselves a new way of re-contextualising them safely, amidst the tragedy and fear going on in the world outside our windows – and the Alternate Versions were born. We encouraged each other to be bold, fearless, and to experiment like we would on stage – but from the comfort of our own bedrooms, living rooms and hallways. This new reimagining of Truth or Consequences is the result of that process. Ten new arrangements that reflect our feelings of optimism, helplessness, and a desire to keep exploring. –Yumi Zouma

 


The day before the release of our third album, ‘Truth or Consequences’, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 an official pandemic. We’d arrived in the United States that morning to play the first show of our North American album release tour in Washington D.C. At this point, all of the tour dates were still set to go ahead, and we were excited to promote an album we had worked on for the last two years. This run was set to be our first ever fully sold-out US tour. The atmosphere was excitable, a little tense, optimistic. However, the chain of events that followed meant that by the time we finished our set that evening, restrictions on venues had been enacted by local governments across the country, and one-after-another, all of our remaining tour dates were cancelled. The performance at DC9 was the first and last show of the ‘Truth or Consequences’ album tour. It was all over, we went our separate ways and flew home the next day – on our album’s release day.

Touring is often the final piece of the puzzle that is an album campaign – the part you fixate on alone in a room, when you perfect a song and imagine how a crowd will react. You may have listened to certain songs a hundred times during the making of the record, but when you’re out on stage, face-to-face with an audience, this is when you start to truly re-contextualise and re-interpret the music, exploring the boundaries, focusing in on different parts of each song’s musical fabric. A new vocal harmony there, a new bassline there – perhaps you add different chord voicings on guitar, or new drum fills that set a new-found intensity to a section.

So after returning home and spending a few numb weeks adjusting to this strange new way of life, April came, the reality set in, and we quickly started to miss that feeling of exploring our new songs by night. We’d missed out on such a crucial part of the process – with no concrete idea of when we might next get the chance. It felt too soon to move on – we felt the pull to work on new music, but still felt a strong attachment, an unresolved connection to this new record that we’d laboured over and had waited so long to release.

Writing new music around them, we took the songs of ‘Truth or Consequences’ and found ourselves a new way of re-contextualising them safely, amidst the tragedy and fear going on in the world outside our windows – and the Alternate Versions were born. We encouraged each other to be bold, fearless, and to experiment like we would on stage – but from the comfort of our own bedrooms, living rooms and hallways. This new reimagining of ‘Truth or Consequences’ is the result of that process. Ten new arrangements that reflect our feelings of optimism, helplessness, and a desire to keep exploring.

Yumi Zouma are:
Christie Simpson, Josh Burgess, Charlie Ryder, and Olivia Campion.

Releases October 28th, 2020

Yumi Zouma‘s glorious Polyvinyl Records debut, “Truth or Consequences”, arrived back in March and today we get an official music video for fan-favourite track “Sage“. the video was filmed by Jack Shepherd in 2019, and edited by Austin Roa, in the band’s native New Zealand. Watch below.

Earlier this month, the band shared a remix of their ToC standout, “Cool For A Second,” courtesy of Australian singer/producer Japanese Wallpaper. Look for more exciting news in the coming weeks from the zoomies!!!

“The video for ‘Sage’ was shot by the brilliant Jack Shepherd, who managed to discreetly capture us in-between our various band activities on his Super 8 camera, before passing the footage onto our good friend Austin Roa, to create a beautiful homage to one of our most loved songs from the new record.” – Yumi Zouma

“Sage” is taken from Yumi Zouma’s third album, Truth or Consequences, out now.

Yumi Zouma 2020 © Jack Sheppard

Alternative pop band Yumi Zouma revel their third album, “Truth or Consequences”, released Friday, March 13th on Polyvinyl Records.

Originating from Christchurch, New Zealand, the four-piece band consists of Christie Simpson (vocals, keyboards), Josh Burgess (guitar, bass guitar, vocals, keyboards), Charlie Ryder (guitar, bass guitar, keyboards), and Olivia Campion (drums). Yumi Zouma’s first two records, Yoncalla (2016) and Willowbank (2017), received great reception from a growing fanbase, with tours following both albums. Constantly working and wanting to produce new material, the group have also released plenty of EPs and singles in between full-lengths, including the single, “Bruises” (2019). Truth or Consequences greatly emphasizes the growth Yumi Zouma have had as a band over the past few years.

Christie Simpson’s ethereal vocals, the band’s dreamy pop melodies, and honest lyrics blend perfectly together and capture the Yumi Zouma sound. Songs like “Truer Than Ever” and “Lie Like You Want Me Back” dive into the complexities of life and this idea that answers may not be as clear as you want them to be. Each song questions the relationships we have and keep with others, and even the relationship we have with ourselves.

The writing process for this album in particular was quite different from the band’s previous works. All living in different locations, the band members became immune to writing songs individually and coming together later on to complete the process. When writing Truth or Consequences, all four bandmates rented out studios in various locations and started writing from scratch. As a result, the record revolves around a solid, central theme, and presents an easy, beautiful flow between each track.

Yumi Zouma’s third album, Truth or Consequences.

 

New Zealand indie-pop band Yumi Zouma released a new album, Truth or Consequences, today via Polyvinyl, their first for the label. Now that the album is out, The band self-produced the album and it was mixed by Jake Aron (Solange, Grizzly Bear, Snail Mail). While formed in New Zealand, Yumi Zouma’s members currently reside in various cities around the world: New York City (Josh Burgess – guitar, vocals), London (Charlie Ryder – guitar, bass, keys), Christchurch, New Zealand (Christie Simpson – vocals, keys), and Wellington, New Zealand (Olivia Campion – drums).

Yumi Zouma shared Truth or Consequences’ lead single, “Cool For a Second,” via a video for the track The album also includes “Right Track / Wrong Man,” a song the band shared back in December. Then they shared another song from the album, “Southwark,” via a self-directed video for the track,

The band released a new EP, EP III, last September 2018 via Cascine Records. EP III was the follow-up to Yumi Zouma’s sophomore album, Willowbank, which was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2017. In May 2019 they shared another brand new song, “Bruise,” that was a standalone single .

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New Zealand’s Yumi Zouma are releasing a new album, “Truth or Consequences”, on March 13th via Polyvinyl, their first for the label. On Tuesday they shared another song from the album, “Southwark,” via a self-directed video for the track. The video intercuts between the band at the beach and performing the song indoors somewhere. “Southwark” continues Yumi Zouma’s remarkable track record of creating irresistible and effortless indie-pop.

In a press release the band’s singer/songwriter Christie Simpson says the song “feels like a dedication, a mantra, a promise to myself. I wrote the chorus line about the someone in particular that I was with at the time, but it now feels like a universal truth for my relationships, a dedication that goes to every person I’ve loved and those that I’m still loving now. I can be quite dramatic in love and relationships, and I don’t always do or say the right thing when I should, but I do throw myself in completely (for better or worse). I loved that idea of repeating that dedication – ‘I am imperfectly yours’…. This track has haunted me a little every time I listen, there’s something melancholy that sits in there alongside that overall feeling of quiet elation. I suppose that speaks to the classic dichotomy of love and relationships – nothing is ever 100% good or perfect, and that’s what I am constantly trying to come to terms with.”

Guitarist/vocalist Josh Burgess had this to say about the video: “A bit of a Yumi tradition is having at least one video on a record we shot ourselves. While we’re not going to be nominated for an Oscar anytime soon, it’s always fun to grab a camera and start shooting. It felt like too good of an opportunity to pass up having us all sitting there in a photo studio mere moments after the centerfold picture of our record. From there we headed off to the beach for sunset. Christie wanted to get into the water but the threat of hypothermia proved too much! It’s also the first video/time we’ve ever revealed lyrics so overtly! The fantastic Lorenzo Fanton’s typeface was too good to pass up!”

Previously Yumi Zouma shared Truth or Consequences’ lead single, “Cool For a Second,” via a video for the track The album also includes “Right Track / Wrong Man,” a song the band shared back in December.

Yumi Zouma’s glistening new single “Southwark” is taken from the group’s new LP Truth or Consequences, coming March 13th on Polyvinyl. Watch the video, shot by the band’s own Josh Burgess,

“Southwark” is taken from Yumi Zouma’s long-awaited third album, “Truth or Consequences”,

The band self-produced the album and it was mixed by Jake Aron (Solange, Grizzly Bear, Snail Mail). While formed in New Zealand, Yumi Zouma’s members currently reside in various cities around the world: New York City (Josh Burgess – guitar, vocals), London (Charlie Ryder – guitar, bass, keys), Christchurch, New Zealand (Christie Simpson – vocals, keys), and Wellington, New Zealand (Olivia Campion – drums).

The band released a new EP, EP III, in September 2018 via Cascine. EP III was the follow-up to Yumi Zouma’s sophomore album, Willowbank, which was among our Top Albums of 2017. In May 2019 they shared another brand new song, “Bruise,” .

Finally after two years of sweat and tears, we are happy to announce that our third album “Truth or Consequences” will be out on the 13th of march 2020, courtesy of our new friends at Inertia Music and Polyvinyl Record Co.

They’ve shared the latest single from the record, “Cool For A Second,” which follows the previously shared “Right Track / Wrong Man.” It has that now-signature nostalgic and above the clouds feeling that Yumi Zouma’s best offerings give you. With both of the songs that we’ve heard so far, the album is shaping up to be another winner from the New Zealand outfit.

We think it’s our most special record yet, and we hope you do too. To celebrate, today we have released a new video for one of our favourite songs on the record, “Cool For A Second”, shot by Nick McKinlay (Julia Jacklin, Stella Donnelly, Merpire).