Tag Archives: Yumi Zouma

Listen Out For – 2015 Previews Round Up

7 Dec

2015 Previews Round Up

The calendar has clicked round to December and children across the world are excited about finding small bits of chocolate behind little cardboard doors. Like many other blogs, we are getting excited about end of year list-o-mania (and small bits of chocolate behind little cardboard doors).

As is our wont we will start with previews of artists we are looking forward to hearing from more next year. But, as is also our wont, we will preface this with a look back at the tips we made last year to see how they did and by association, how well we did. In all honesty it was, outwardly, a pretty quiet year for most of our featured acts with only one album and a couple of EPs released between them (but they were all great).

#15 – Let’s Eat Grandma

We said at the time that Rosa and Jenny are two stupefyingly imaginative and creative 15 year old girls who play a multitude of instruments in a multitude of different ways at a multitude of different times within a single song. The only thing that has changed is that they are now 16. The girls are still remarkable and their talents are being recognised by a larger audience thanks to performances at Latitude and Festival No. 6 as well as features in NME and sessions on 6Music. The album is still in the works so expect to hear a lot more them both in the coming 12-18 months.

#14 – Treasureseason

It’s been a quiet year for the Norwich-London duo but fingers crossed we hear more from them soon as we are big fans of their soft synthy loveliness.

#13 – Chløë Black

It took just one song from Chløë Black to win our hearts, minds and blog love. Since then we’ve seen her play live, been treated to a number of fantastic videos and are even more convinced that big things await.

#12 – Saint Agnes

Another act for whom 2015 was relatively quiet, at least as far as new music is concerned. There were gigs a-plenty though which further enhanced their reputation as an act to get excited about.

#11 – Waterbed

It’s almost becoming a running theme but 2015 was pretty quiet with little in the way of new tunes to get excited about for Waterbed. Here’s hoping for more next year.

#10 – Daisy Victoria

Compared to the dual EP output of the year before, 2015 was fairly quiet release wise. There was a ramping up of radio coverage though, as well as headline shows and a burgeoning reputation across the blog world. There was also the stupendous “Pain of Dancer” which for our money, is the best thing Daisy has done so far.

#9 – Jagaara

Again, beyond festivals and gigs (most recently supporting Kyla la Grange) 2015 was a quiet one for the three sisters. Mind you, we saw them live in 2014 and they were superb so gigging across the country is a good thing for us as fans, hopefully there will be some more tunes to get our ears around in the coming months as well as well some shows in the New Year.

#8 – Black Honey

At last, a band for whom 2015 certainly wasn’t quiet, especially if their incendiary rawkus performance at Norwich Sound and Vision in October was anything to go by. Black Honey released new tunes, won new fans and wowed us and thousands of others with their explosive and energetic live sets.

#7 – Osca

After a couple of tunes earlier in the year, it’s been quiet since the spring. Hopefully they have been squirreled away, busily writing and recording ready for the New Year. Right guys? Guys..?

#6 – Wooden Arms

2015 was big for Wooden Arms. Not only did they follow up 2014’s gorgeous EP with their debut album, they also played a live session for Lauren Laverne on 6 Music. The collective have also been playing bigger and bigger shows across Europe and are currently working on their next full length, and we can’t wait to hear it.

#5 – Vérité

One of the few artists on our list to put some tunes out this year, Vérité put out the fantastic Sentiment EP as well as playing many shows. Some of which were in the UK, though none were in Norwich. No doubt that’s on her list for next year.

#4 – Yumi Zouma

2015 was an interesting year for Yumi Zouma. It started with some properly fantastic videos and a second superb EP which met with deserved rave reviews. After that though there was a low key departure and replacement of Kim Pflaum (so low key in fact that some publications had no idea they weren’t talking to Kim when featuring the band) but still lots of very successful shows and plaudits. As yet there has been no proper ‘post-Kim’ tunes so we can’t speak to what comes next but we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on developments.

#3 – Rag’N’Bone Man

One of the few on our list to put out some music this year, Rory Graham released the superb Disfigured EP, saw his music synced all over the place and produced one of the best gigs we saw all year. Seriously, if you have the chance to see him live, take it. All that and he is now curating his own gig nights as well.

#2 – Laurel

Having closed out last year with an EP release, it’s probably not a surprise that 2015 was fairly quiet. There was a slot at Radio One’s Big Weekend though and hopefully there will be more gorgeously evocative sounds from her in 2016.

#1 – Fickle Friends

They released an EP and wowed Norwich at Radio One’s Big Weekend (and a small pre-show the night before). In fact, so wowed were Norwich that they are coming back in 2016 (see you there) as part of their super huge mega UK tour (which we hope will coincide with an album release but we don’t know). They have also been playlisted on Radio One and put out some pretty rad videos so everything is looking set for them to build on a good 2015 to have a great 2016.

Yumi Zouma – “Alena” (video)

28 Mar

Yumi Zouma Alena

With their stunning new EP now available to buy, enjoy and adore, blog favourites Yumi Zouma have returned with the sequel to their bewitching and mysterious ”Catastrophe” video. Set in the same area as before and featuring some of the same characters, “Alena” takes place at a different period (before, after, we don’t know) and focuses on the men of the town.

Directed by the same team, BANGS, as its predecessor, “Alena” is infuriatingly brilliant. Infuriating because it answers none of the questions from “Catastrophe”, what caused them all to fall asleep, what happened when they woke up, what is that mysterious telephone number (that we are yet to work up the gumption to call) all about? None of this is answered. It is utterly maddening, but that just makes “Catastrophe” and “Alena” all the more perfect.

Here we are taken to a self-help, support type, men anonymous group where who knows what is discussed (or not) and in the end movement and dance takes over and helps further the catharsis. But what are they meeting about? Is it to go over the mysterious events? Is it to mourn lost ones from what happened? We have no idea but again, it totally works.

Where the direction excels in particular is the juxtaposition of the slow-motion movement and the more up-tempo but soft and caressing melodies of Yumi Zouma. It is considered, enigmatic and beautiful, just like the Yumi’s themselves.

”Alena” is taken from Yumi Zouma’s ‘EP II’ which is out now on Cascine. You can order the 10″ vinyl here.

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Yumi Zouma – “Song For Zoe & Gwen”

17 Feb


Is there anything left to say about Yumi Zouma that we’ve not already said? The superlatives have long since run out and as far as woozy, daydreamy pop exquisiteness is concerned, they are pretty much untouchable right now. We’ve drooled, swooned, exhaled longingly and generally given ourselves over completely to everything they have done so far and the release of “Song For Zoe & Gwen” is no exception. If anything this latest heady concoction of wistful gorgeousness has only served to make our adoration stronger.

“Song For Zoe & Gwen” will feature on their forthcoming second EP, EP II and follows the release online of the mysterious and wonderful ”Catastrophe” last month. While we await the resolution of the cliffhanger from the “Catastrophe” video, the Yumi’s have momentarily taken us back in time with a song in part about Charlie Yumi’s 7th form prom date.

Usually we find ourselves bathed in the hazy warmth of summer when listening to Yumi Zouma but here their laidback gentleness is, as the subject matter suggests, taking us inside. Inside to high school corridors, unrequited love, the cool / uncool divide and the minefield that was the school disco and other formal occasions with members of the opposite sex and the awkwardness that ensued.

While social unease may be our primary take away from “Song For Zoe & Gwen”, it is delivered with such warmth and affection, such a considerate and comforting tone and melody that not even visions of teenage humiliation and angst can prevent us from hitting repeat and loving every second of this latest Yumi Zouma gem.

”Song For Zoe & Gwen” is taken from Yumi Zouma’s ‘EP II’ which is due out 10 March on Cascine. You can pre-order the 10″ vinyl here.

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Yumi Zouma – “Catastrophe” (video)

27 Jan


Any day that features new music from the stupendous Yumi Zouma automatically qualifies as a good day. It doesn’t matter if your job sucks, if your life sucks, if your pipes are broken, your car is falling apart or if you are snowed in with little food left in the house. As long as your internet and ears are working, you have reason to celebrate today and that reason is “Catastrophe”.

Taken from their forthcoming and appropriately titled second EP, EP II, “Catastrophe” represents everything we love about Yumi Zouma and more. The soft warmth of Kim’s vocals, the synths and guitars are just gorgeous and evoke images that are in stark contrast to those of the mysterious and intriguing accompanying video.

While the sound of “Catastrophe” is one of summer haze, soft sheens of fine rain on a bright day and all round contentment, the visuals are of a fairly bleak and run down town that no longer lives on the beaten track. As well as the sense of disrepair there is something odd afoot as pseudo-Fast Forward (remember that show?) events appear to be occurring.

What is going on, what will happen to the people of this dilapidated town and why is it happening to them, and what (if any) is the significance of the numbers 0272391528 that Kim sings so enticingly? Google suggests it is a phone number in Switzerland but could it be something more sinister or just a coincidence?

This is all getting a bit Tales of the Unexpected but hopefully we shall have our answers soon as BANGS, the team behind the video, will be back for more. This is, they explain, just the first of a two-part story “about a fictional small town in which the people are disrupted from their day-to-day life by otherwordly forces.”

We look forward to find out what is going on in due course, meanwhile we’ll keep hitting repeat on this gorgeous tune and wait patiently for our pre-order of the EP to arrive. Oh, and a word of advice, don’t sleep on pre-ordering this, Yumi Zouma EPs do not hang around, this will sell out quick smart (especially the limited to 500 copies, marble vinyl edition).

”Catastophe” is taken from Yumi Zouma’s ‘EP II’ which is due out 10 March on Cascine. You can pre-order the 10″ vinyl here.

Stalk Yumi Zouma: Facebook / Twitter

2014 Albums & EPs of the Year: 3

1 Jan

2014 Albums and EPs 3

#3 Yumi Zouma – Yumi Zouma

Unquestionably our most played EP of the year; Yumi Zouma’s eponymous debut is so dreamy and delightful that if it were a person, you’d be swooning over it. We just adore their blissful, laidback summery sounds that just drift and float like clouds on a tranquil August day.

It is music that evokes imagery of summer and inspires an inner peace and calmness. It’s an idyllic and heavenly break in glorious but not overwhelming sunshine. These four tracks are like swimming to the edge of an infinity pool and gazing out at the breathtaking vista of melody before you. There’s not another soul for miles but for your loved one resting beside you, pina colada in hand, drinking in the scenery and delightful sounds of muted beats, gentle breeze like vocals and delicate, refreshing vocals.

It is utterly gorgeous and we cannot help but get caught in its enthral.