Tag: Polyvinyl Record Co.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Yumi Zouma Releases a Stylish Visual for Glistening Pop Rework of “My Palms Are Your Reference To Hold Your Heart”

Throughout the course of this site’s ten-plus-year history, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the acclaimed synth pop act Yumi Zouma. Last year, the JOVM mainstays fiend Polyvinyl Record Co, who released their critically applauded, self-produced, third album Truth or Consequences earlier this year, an album that thematically focuses on distance — both real and metaphorical; romantic and platonic heartbreak, disillusionment and feeling (and being) out of reach.

For the overwhelming majority of the acts I’ve covered throughout this site’s history, touring is often the most important part of the promotional campaign for their new release. Frequently, before the tour, the band/artist/collective in question will begin to figure out how to re-contextualize both brand new and older material for a live setting, imagining how a crowd will react to what they’ll play in their live set. Of course, much like countless acts across the world, Yumi Zouma’s hopes to tour and play the material off Truth or Consequences to their devoted fans was canceled as a result of pandemic-related shutdowns.

Slated for an October 28, 2020 release, Truth or Consequences (Alternate Versions) is the JOVM mainstay act’s response to the lost opportunity to re-contextualize and explore the boundaries of the original album’s material through live fan engagement. Truth or Consequences (Alternate Versions)’ latest single is a reworked version of “My Palms Are Your Reference To Hold Your Heart.” Centered around glistening synth arpeggios, Christie Simpson’s ethereal yet plaintive vocals, a sinuous bass line, shimmering guitars, propulsive polyrhythm, the reworked version retains the song’s strutting hook but manages to give the song a tropical disco like air — all while retaining the original’s achingly wistful air.

Directed by the band, the recently released and incredibly stylish visual for “My Palms Are Reference to Hold Your Heart” features live footage of the individual members of the band playing the song, projected on the wall behind the band’s Christie Simpson, further evoking the sense of isolation from our friends and loved ones — and the other very human experiences we can’t have right now.

“This version of the song we affectionately shorten to ‘Palms’ started with just a few chords that I’d tried out underneath the vocal melody – I felt a little stuck with what to do next, but I sent the minimal scraps I had along to Charlie anyway, so he could give it a crack,” Yumi Zouma’s Christie Simpson explains in press notes. “When it came back the mood was completely transformed – into this sparkly, ABBA-esque dark disco feel that it has now. This video came about much in the same way, starting as an idea from Josh to shoot a live performance against projections of the rest of the band when we couldn’t all be together – and transforming into this James-Turrell inspired installation in an infinity-walled space, with programmed lights and a makeup artist and a black suit. Both ended up more slick, more fun, more flashy – and in (what felt like) the blink of an eye. So we hope you enjoy, and dance in your bedroom, and take a little moment of spontaneous silliness in a world that is undoubtedly weighing pretty heavy on us all right now.”

New Video: Escape to a Far Simpler Time with JOVM Mainstays Yumi Zouma

I’ve spilled a lot of virtual ink writing about the internationally acclaimed synth pop act Yumi Zouma throughout the course of this site’s history. Now, as you may recall, late last year, the JOVM mainstays signed to Polyvinyl Record Co, who released their critically applauded, self-produced, third album Truth or Consequences earlier this year. 

Thematically, the album’s material focuses on distance — both real and metaphorically. with the album’s material touching upon romantic and platonic heartbreak, real and imagined emotional distance, disillusionment and being out of reach. I’ve written about two of the album’s previously released singles: the hopeful yet somehow melancholy “Cool For A Second” which was centered around the idea that life doesn’t always provide the answers or closure that you want want — and the shimmering and equally ambivalent “Southwark.”

Truth or Consequences’ latest single “Lonely After” continues a run of shimmering and swooning synth pop, but unlike the previously released material, it may be the most achingly nostalgic song released from the album to date, as the song’s narrator longs for the intensity and urgency of a relatively recent past that was confusing but easy to understand. And yes, it may be an escapist fantasy but when things are this bleak, a few moments of escapism may be necessary. 

Directed and edited by Martin Sagadin, the recently released, incredibly cinematic video further emphasizes the song’s aching nostalgia and escapist desires: we see the band’s Christie Simpson in the woods with windswept hair on a late Summer afternoon. How it all brings back memories of far simpler times — of first loves and first heartbreaks. 

“Nostalgia has always been a big part of Yumi Zouma and that’s mostly a result of the people we are,” the band’s Josh Burgess writes in a statement on the single and video. “We all get high off of the rush that comes with remembering the intensity and ecstasy of ‘yesterday’ safe in the present. Our memories, stories, demos and each other are the only incomplete link back to the way things used to be which is magical in itself. 

Now more than ever it feels like we’re all craving yesterday, skeptical of what tomorrow will bring as we patiently navigate these strange new times. For me, yesterday is very vivid. Christchurch, early February down by the Waimakariri River on the outskirts of town. The wind running off the river, through the trees, and into Christie’s hair. The midday sun stinging the skin as I entertain our friends making the video with my best Mick Jagger impression and skills of doing handstands in loafers. 
 
These moments are precious, they suspend time so all that matters is the present.  
 
I’m forever grateful to have the ‘Lonely After’ video as my yesterday to get lost in. It reminds me to be present and hold everything that is dear that little bit closer in my head and my heart. 
 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Yumi Zouma Returns with a Shimmering and Ambivalent Pop Confection

Throughout the course of this site’s almost 10 year history — yes, 10 years! — I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the internationally acclaimed synth pop act Yumi Zouma. Originally formed in Christchurch, New Zealand, the act has featured members spread out across the globe most of their history together, with Josh Burgess (guitar, vocals) based in New York, Charlie Ryder (guitar, bass, keys) based in London and Christie Simpson (vocals, keys) based in Christchurch. Over the course of the band’s history, they’ve received praise across the blogosphere and from internationally recognized outlets for a breezy yet bittersweet, 80s inspired synth pop sound centered around Christie Simpson’s ethereal and achingly tender vocals.

Late last year, the acclaimed indie electro pop act signed to Polyvinyl Record Co, who will release the band’s highly-anticipated, self-produced, third album Truth or Consequence. Slated for a March 13, 2020 release, the album thematically focuses on distance — both real and metaphorically. with the album’s material touching upon romantic and platonic heartbreak, real and imagined emotional distance, disillusionment and being out of reach. 

The JOVM mainstays started off 2020 with the release of the album’s first official single “Cool For A Second.” Christie Simpson’s ethereal, wisp-like vocals effortlessly glided over softly padded beats, shimmering synth arpeggios and soaring hooks — and while being simultaneously hopeful and melancholy, the song thematically was centered around the idea that life doesn’t always provide the answers or closure you may want. But it manages to capture the sense of relief that comes from recognizing and saying the truth — even if only to yourself. 

“Southwark,” Truth or Consequence’s latest single is a cinematic and swooning bit of synth pop, centered around a New Order-like bass line, shimmering synth arpeggios, an anthemic and infectious hook paired with Christie Simpson’s ethereal cooing. Much like the album’s previously released material, the song is somewhat ambivalent: there’s hopefulness in finding love and being in love, but the melancholy awareness that nothing is perfect and all things come to an end, one way or the other. 

Sharing the meaning behind the track, songwriter Christie Simpson explained that 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’.” Adding, “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.”

Directed and shot by the members of the JOVM mainstay act, the recently released video is split between footage of the band performing the band in the studio, the band at the beach at sunset with Lorenzo Fanton’s specifically created font superimposed over the proceedings — essentially creating a visual that’s part lyric video and part official video. “A bit of a Yumi tradition is having at least one video on a record we shot ourselves,” the band’s Josh Burgess explains in press notes. “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!”

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Yumi Zouma Releases a Dance Floor Friendly Meditation on Acceptance and Closure

Originally formed in  Christchurch, New Zealand, the internationally acclaimed synth pop act Yumi Zouma, currently features members spread out across the globe with Josh Burgess (guitar, vocals) based in New York, Charlie Ryder (guitar, bass, keys) based in London and Christie Simpson (vocals, keys) based in Christchurch. Writing and recording by email out of necessity, the band wasn’t meant to be a live project — and yet, they received attention and praise for a breezy yet breezy yet bittersweet, 80s synth pop inspired sound centered around Christie Simpson’s ethereal and achingly tender vocals. 

The acclaimed indie electro pop act recently signed to Polyvinyl Record Co., and to to celebrate the occasion, they released their self-produced new single “Right Track/Wrong Man” through their new label home. And while continuing an extraordinary run of breezy synth pop, the new track is centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, Nile Rodgers-like guitar lines, a sinuous bass line, four-on-the-floor drumming and ethereal harmonies, the song is actually an upbeat, disco-tinged meditation on the closure gained by accepting that it’s time to move on and forward. 

“‘Right Track / Wrong Man’ comes from a place of uncertainty – of not knowing if you should stay in the comfort of a slightly unfulfilling relationship, or branch out and make the most of the youth you have left; meet new people, go out more, dance, live,” the band’s Christine Simpson explains. “In the last year or so I’ve found myself switching between these modes, unable to work out what makes me happier, left feeling a little lost – but I’ve always found solace in the knowledge that at least I’ve been going out more, meeting new people, dancing – and living. As Yumi Zouma we often write songs that we want people to dance to, and that we ourselves would want to dance to – this is our dancefloor anthem to the confusion of living through your twenties.”