Yumi Zouma Share New Song “Kicking Up Daisies” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, April 16th, 2024  

Yumi Zouma Share New Song “Kicking Up Daisies”

New EP Forthcoming

Nov 08, 2023 Photography by Marisa Suda
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New Zealand alt-pop group Yumi Zouma have shared a new song, “Kicking Up Daisies.” It’s the third single they’ve shared of late and all are taken from a forthcoming EP (details of which are TBA). Listen below.

The band features Christie Simpson, Josh Burgess, Charlie Ryder, and Olivia Campion. Burgess had this to say about “Kicking Up Daisies” in a statement to Under the Radar:

“‘Kicking Up Daisies’ was born as I tried (and failed) to learn Elliott Smith’s ‘Angeles’ on guitar—there is a beautiful chord I borrowed from him.

“The summer of 21/22 I went back to NZ for the first time after COVID—spending two weeks quarantined in a hotel room before being set free.

“I was house sitting Christie’s parents’ house in Christchurch—her grandmother’s piano was in the living room, and all summer I worked on the song on that piano. ‘I came home for an hour, and spent the whole day,’ kind of sums up that period. I was a bit broken and found myself cancelling plans left, right and centre. I felt like I was constantly running away from the black dog.

“It was a pretty complete song by the time I took it to the band in Japan in August. I had actually lost the original recording, so we started again—adding a half-time outro at the end, with a haunting section from Christie about her own demons.

“I love how it turned out and feel like there’s a little bit of Elliott in there.

“(Finding beauty from misery.)”

“Kicking Up Daisies” follows “KPR,” a new song the band shared in September via a music video directed by the band. “KPR” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then in October they shared another new song, “be okay,” also via a music video (which is below too).

The band’s last album, Present Tense, came out in 2022 via Polyvinyl.

The band collectively had this to say about the new EP in a previous press release: “All four of us are New Zealanders, but we live between NZ, the US, and the UK, which makes it difficult to spend time physically together. This was a particular challenge during the pandemic, which made the creation of our last album Present Tense a fully remote process. However, last year, we played over 70 shows in 13 countries, including one show and 24 hours in Japan—a fleeting glimpse which planted a seed that Tokyo could be a good middle point for us to meet again to write and record one day.

“And so, it transpired—over three weeks in April and May, we wrote and recorded at Studio Mech, a studio based in the quiet neighbourhood of Yutenji, south of Shibuya. Working in a different environment without the pressures of being on tour was a new experience, while the mix of routine and residency brought us all closer together. The sessions also sparked new creative conversations—this was the first time Olivia had been able to join the group for each step of making a record, and the proximity of organic instruments in the studio for sharing ideas meant that songs primarily became established on the guitars and pianos around us, instead of software instruments shared wirelessly between our laptops at home.

“The result is our fourth EP, and ninth Yumi Zouma record overall—a fuller, more natural-sounding collection of recordings crammed full of cascading piano lines, pummelling drums, chorused gang vocal takes, and waves of distorted guitars. Particularly inspired by the sounds of ’90s noise, shoegaze, and midwestern emo, these new songs push the band’s signature dream pop sheen to new extremes, exemplified by the bursts of screeching feedback and spoken word on lead single ‘KPR,’ and the overdriven screams in the bridge of the anthemic ‘be okay.’ There are even surprises during the record’s more classic Yumi Zouma moments, such as the naked, intimate vocals in the coda to ‘Kicking Up Daisies,’ and Olivia’s joyous shout of ‘whoo!’ before the piano-led second verse of the alt-folk-leaning ‘Desert Mile.’”

The tracks on the EP were mixed by Kenny Gilmore (Weyes Blood, Julia Holter, Chris Cohen), Jake Aron (Grizzly Bear, Snail Mail, Solange), Tom Healy (The Chills, Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams) and Simon Gooding (Fazerdaze, Neil Finn, Dua Lipa). Antoine Chabert (Daft Punk, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Christine & The Queens) mastered the EP.

Burgess had this to add about the EP: “The time we spent together writing and recording this EP will forever be one of my most cherished memories.”

While Ryder says the EP “is the best music we have ever released, without a shadow of a doubt—it feels like a very dramatic update to the world of who we are as a band.”

The EP’s exact title, tracklist, cover artwork, and release date all have yet to be announced.

Yumi Zouma’s 2020 album, Truth or Consequences, was featured on our Top 100 Albums of 2020 list.

Read our COVID-19 Quarantine Artist Check-In interview with the band’s Charlie Ryder.

In March 2020, we posted our My Firsts interview with the band, which can be read here.

Read our 2017 interview with Yumi Zouma on their second album Willowbank.

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