Yumi Zouma: Truth or Consequences (Polyvinyl) - Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, June 18th, 2024  

Truth or Consequences


Mar 17, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Yumi Zouma’s Polyvinyl debut, Truth or Consequences, isn’t reinventing the wheel. It slots nicely within the band’s previous work and leans into Yumi Zouma’s propensity for blissed out dream pop. This album is the band at its most sunny and shimmering. It brings forth the best parts of the band’s sound to create lush, hook-filled soundscapes.

The vocal work from singers Christie Simpson and Josh Burgess mold to the songs wonderfully, embodying the soft and lilting mood created by the instrumentals. While Simpson carries most of these songs admirably on her own, the intertwining vocals also elevate tracks such as “Right Track / Wrong Man” and “Sage.” The interplay between Simpson’s breathy high register and Burgess’s deeper voice will be delightful for anyone looking for something close to The xx’s vocal style.

The instrumentals are also some of the band’s best. The band describes the writing process as “as egalitarian as possible. Completely sharing the process helped us feel like we were capturing a purer sense of atmosphere.” This collaborative approach allows each of the band members to shine on the album. “My Palms Are Your Reference to Hold to Your Heart” enters a relaxed bass groove early on. The guitar accents the track beautifully and the bright synth tones on the chorus give it a great pop atmosphere. “Cool For a Second” encapsulates the best of the band’s sound into three minutes of feather-soft dream pop and sweet vocal melodies.

The band also explores interesting lyrical territory here. When speaking on the title, Burgess says, “The truth is usually in the gray zones, and I think that’s so much of what we were trying to explore and understand on this album.” Tracks such as “Southwark” hit on the gray of life and relationships quite well as the overlapping vocals explore the emotional distance in a failing relationship. Simpson sings, “Oh and I am imperfectly yours” while Burgess responds with, “You give me trust, you give me lust, can we get by without your love?”

Yumi Zouma doesn’t come forth with the most original sound in indie pop, but there is certainly something to be said for consistency. On its third album, the band once again brings a blissful sound, danceable grooves, and an exceedingly catchy tracklist. It may not be a novel reinvention of the band, but Truth or Consequences hits the right notes and Yumi Zouma feels as tight as ever. (www.yumizouma.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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