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Since the release of their debut EP in 2014, Yumi Zouma’s evolution has been brisk and organic ‐ a shoreline reflecting the changing tides of its ocean. The band sold‐out their first EP twice‐over before itsrelease and before having ever played live, but each member’s disparate living arrangements meant that live shows or even further releases were unexpected. Having grown up together in Christchurch, New Zealand, they scattered after school, moving to Auckland, Paris and New York, collaborating over email to create Yumi Zouma’s initial material. However, the intense reception to these early tracks resulted in the group’s first practices taking place on arena stages, asthey were asked on tour by both Chet Faker and Lorde.
2015 saw the launch of their EP II, alongside multiple tours of Europe, North America, Australia and Asia, before a deluxe EP Collection 12” was released at the end of the year. These dizzying days on the road finally enabled the band to write together in the same place at the same time, and during a three‐week pause in Paris, they set to work on their debut album. Where the previous EPs were created in isolation, capturing the nuances of each member’s life half a world away, the new material was given a singular voice. After a week of mixing in Philippe Zdar’s Motorbass studio, the self‐recorded‐and‐produced Yoncalla was born.
“Yumi Zouma has always been an exercise in refining ideas and collaborating,” reflects guitarist Charlie Ryder, “but this wasthe first time we weren’t limited or protected by distance. With Yoncalla, the process was different, and it can be scary to present raw ideas to your friends ‐ but it’s also incredible to see songs evolve through the sparks of inspiration that bounce between people in the same room.” That intimacy is apparent on Yoncalla ‐ an album about being close to people, rather than miles apart. Yumi Zouma’s effortless waves of harmony have been redefined and the creative process laid bare to expose an act more unguarded and interconnected than ever before. To capture that concept, New Zealand visual artist Henrietta Harris was tapped to create the cover art, illustrating the band together on a front cover for the first time. Each member’s portrait is hand‐drawn, but without the individual characteristics that previously separated them.
Yoncalla is out 27 May 2016 via Cascine, Spunk Records in Australia and Rallye in Japan. Yumi Zouma are Sam Perry, Christie Simpson, Josh Burgess and Charlie Ryder.