Yumi Zouma make themselves at home on relatable new single ‘December’

YUMI ZOUMA’s new tune ‘December’ has a sparkly, synth-pop sound, while the lyrics paint a picture of a relationship doomed to fail. It’s an excellent combination.

‘December’ builds on the bold, retro sound of Yumi Zouma’s album, Yoncalla, and features the lyrical abstraction we have come to expect from the band. Judging by this single, their genre-bending sound has only become more defined; mixing pop, folk and electro vibes into a beautiful, emotional mess. The song will feature on their forthcoming EP Willowbank, the first EP the New Zealand-via-New York four-piece has recorded together on home soil.

Yumi Zouma shot to stardom out of what seemed like nowhere, playing shows with Chet Faker and Lorde in Australia and New Zealand as well as touring New York, London, Tokyo and Paris after their first four track EP in 2014. In an unusual trajectory to fame, the group went viral before even considering themselves as a real band, as those first songs were created purely through online collaboration. They then recorded Yoncalla on the road.

This time though, they headed home to New Zealand for the summer and recorded Willowbank in Christchurch. As guitarist, keyboard player and vocalist Josh Burgess explains, “It was as though there was a brief pause in all of our lives and we finally felt like a band from New Zealand. We were on home turf and creating from a place that felt fundamentally natural. New Zealand has a distinct feel from Christmas to the end of January. Things shut down. It has a calming presence, it’s very peaceful.” This chilled, summery vibe permeates their sound on this first single.

Willowbank will launch on October 6 and Yumi Zouma will embark on a worldwide tour (including Australia), with dates yet to be announced.

Words by Molly McLaughlin

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The first album Molly ever purchased was Avril Lavigne’s pioneering 2002 debut, ‘Let Go’. She stands by that decision.