Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Album Review: Yumi Zouma - Present Tense

Yumi Zouma
Present Tense
***and1/2 out of *****

The Christchurch New Zealand, Canterbury based Yumi Zouma's third album Truth or Consequences was released on the day the world shut down, March 13th 2020. The band was about to embark on a world tour that was sold out and hyped to bring them to the next level, instead the four piece (Christie Simpson – lead vocals, samplers, keyboards, Josh Burgess - vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, drum programming, samplers, Charlie Ryder - guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, drum programming, samplers, Olivia Campion - drums) retreated home and decided to start recording their follow up from lockdown. 

The resulting Present Tense is a slight push away from their more electro based early albums towards a successfully developed, organic dance pop vibe.  Opener "Give It Hell" propels forward via firm bass supporting the light and airy piano and strings around Simpson's sweet singing. The most complete offering is the catchy as all get out "Where The Light Used to Lay" with it's bubbling percussion, synths, easy rolling hooks and cinematic scope. 

There is a sweet yet ominous mixing of emotions on "Mona Lisa" which uses a soaring finale to wrap up while "If I Had The Heart For Chasing" is more towards the bands electro dance past with pulsing pop vibes. Both songs "Of Me and You" and "In The Eyes Of Our Love" go full early 80's dancefloor while injecting acoustic strings and pauses to keep revelers on their toes. 

The understated "Razorblade" downshifts the tone of the album before cutting with fuzzy edges via a beautifully distorted guitar rave up while the introspective "Honestly, It's Fine" brings in woodwinds, strings, and synths expanding the sonic footprint. "Haunt" is a duet that feels a bit dull with it's electro swoons, before closer "Astral Projection" channels early Morrissey and brings back the acoustic strings to brighten the mood.  

Each of these tracks are pleasant in their own form and Present Tense as a collection of songs finds the band expanding their wings and taking flight. While there might not be a must hear track, the overall tone of Present Tense is that of an indie pop success as the outfit continue to prove they have what it takes to soar.
Support the band, buy the album and peep some video below:

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