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.