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Alternatif et Indé - Released March 13, 2020 | Polyvinyl Records

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The third album from New Zealand's chill-pop outfit Yumi Zouma tenderly pokes at the bruises inflicted by 2020's unsettled times. Singer Christie Simpson —blessed with a down comforter of a voice— has said of the inspiration for single "Right Track/Wrong Man": "I've found myself... unable to work out what makes me happier, left feeling a little lost." This is low-sweat dance floor stuff, with familiar sonic touchstones. "Mirror to the Fire" comes on like Chvrches, while "Magazine Bay" borrows the yacht rock confidence of Tame Impala. Shimmering with assertive '80s-style synth and crisp percussion, the music is inevitably breezy, uplifting, optimistic; the lyrics tend to be indecisive ("Please don't leave me here or let me go," Simpson sings on "Southwark") and self-critical ("I was embarrassed when I knew who I was, so wild and zealous and overly down for the cause," she coos on "Lonely After"). The truth may be fuzzy and unknown, but the consequences remain existentially high. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Alternatif et Indé - Released October 6, 2017 | Cascine

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Alternatif et Indé - Released January 21, 2020 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternatif et Indé - Released February 18, 2020 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternatif et Indé - Released December 10, 2019 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternatif et Indé - Released September 28, 2018 | Cascine

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Alternatif et Indé - Released May 27, 2016 | Cascine

It's easy to hear why the young, fresh-faced New Zealand quintet Yumi Zouma caught the ear of the Cascine label when they first started sending their demos around. The sound is a fresh, young version of the kind of shimmery, lo-key, disco pop that label acts like Korallreven, Keep Shelly in Athens, and Kisses are known for. After a few EPs that served as a warm-up, their full-length debut, Yoncalla, provides a very clear picture of the band's strengths. Vocalist Christie Simpson has an unsullied, pristine voice that fits well with the scrubbed-fresh synths and the occasional male vocals that chime in to join her. She plays the same role here that Karolina plays on Club 8 records, a band that Yumi Zouma sound very much like. Thanks to the consistency of the spacious arrangements, the songs have an unassuming nature that allows them to sneak up on the listener over repeated listens. A couple tracks stand out from the flow of pleasant, tuneful songs; "Haji Awali" is one, with its indie pop guitars and loud/quiet dynamics; the slinky tropical pop-flavored "Text from Sweden" is another. Mostly though, Yoncalla bobs along like a raft on a sun-dappled swimming pool, the occupant having few cares and a refreshing beverage close at hand. It's made for summer days like that and summer nights, too. Only "Better When I'm by Your Side," which hews a little too closely to the Lorde template, does anything to darken the mood. It's a tiny stumble that does little to detract from the pleasing nature of the rest of the album. ~ Tim Sendra
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Alternatif et Indé - Released February 11, 2014 | Cascine

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Alternatif et Indé - Released August 15, 2017 | Cascine

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Alternatif et Indé - Released August 1, 2017 | Cascine

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Alternatif et Indé - Released August 29, 2017 | Cascine

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Alternatif et Indé - Released August 21, 2018 | Cascine

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Pop - Released June 3, 2014 | Cascine

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Alternatif et Indé - Released September 12, 2018 | Cascine

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Ambient - Released April 3, 2018 | Cascine

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Alternatif et Indé - Released April 6, 2016 | Cascine

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Alternatif et Indé - Released October 7, 2014 | Cascine

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Alternatif et Indé - Released March 10, 2015 | Cascine

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Alternatif et Indé - Released February 17, 2015 | Cascine

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Alternatif et Indé - Released August 24, 2015 | Cascine