Tag: Yumi Zouma Southwark

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!”