– featured image courtesy of aaron lee –
yumi zouma barely needs an introduction on this site by now; the christchurch-based quartet has been honing their exquisite craft since 2014, at times separately, from all corners of the world, at others, in a collective space. this meticulous, bountiful songwriting process had, up until today, yielded a pair of extended plays and last year’s full-length debut, yoncalla. it’s a very pleasant surprise, then, that yumi zouma has announced willowbank, its sophomore album, due out october 6th via cascine.
willowbank marks the first time the band has had time to write and record a large group of songs together in their native new zealand, so perhaps it’s fitting that the album’s first single, “december,” seems like the perfect distillation of summer at the bottom of the planet.
as always, counter-melodic motifs are interwoven with ease, though christie simpson’s lead vocal sits more squarely in the mix than ever before, feeling less a part of the overall texture and more like a distinctly separate entity. capped off by a stout, brassy coda, yumi zouma’s latest single retains a peaceful majesty that has easily become the outfit’s calling card.
“december” is another gorgeous achievement for a pop group that seemingly has no ceiling. take a listen below.