Announce 4th Studio Album “Present Tense”
LP out 18th March via POLYVINYL RECORDS
New Single Out Now,”In The Eyes Of Our Love“
International alt-pop band Yumi Zouma has announced the release of their eagerly awaited new album. Present Tense arrives via Polyvinyl on Friday, March 18; pre-orders are available now. The New Zealand-born band’s fourth studio album is preceded by the rousing new single, “In The Eyes Of Our Love,” available now at all DSPs and streaming services. The track arrives alongside the first in a mesmerizing trilogy of official music videos directed by filmmaker Alex Ross Perry (Soccer Mommy, Vivian Girls, Sleigh Bells), is streaming now via YouTube.
“In The Eyes Of Our Love” captures every essence of a mesmeric and lasting hit. With this nostalgic current emerging through the tonality of the new ensemble, Yumi Zouma immediately crafts this consuming piece with lashes of emotion and this harmonic pull. The atmosphere grabs the audience’s full attention whilst the energy simply dazzles.
“Recorded at 204bpm, ‘In The Eyes Of Our Love’ is a rip-roaring belter of a track and the fastest song we’ve ever written,” says Charlie Ryder. “What started out as an homage to Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift ended up as a love song set against a backdrop of torture and insurrection stoked by the Nixon administration, so if you like songs with two bridges and strong socialist leanings, then ‘In The Eyes Of Our Love’ could be the track for you!”
“Agreeing to make three interconnected videos was something I should have thought about for longer than 15 seconds before agreeing to it,” says Perry. “The anxiety of conceptualizing a small story, that can be told without dialogue, and set to music, gripped me from the moment my video call with the band ended. Their thoughts were excellent, specific, and unachievable with the time and resources I would be able to pull together. But I began to feel inspired by the concept of taking these vast ideas and situating them within a single location, transforming the aesthetic, visuals and mood to match the three different songs. My only chance for success was to rely heavily on a great cast and crew to create these spaces and film them in a way that felt consistently alive and unique. Fortunately for me, they all over delivered.”
Dedicated to an embattled past, Present Tense is Yumi Zouma’s offering to a tenuous future. The album follows 2020’s acclaimed Truth or Consequences, released via Polyvinyl on the very same day that the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The band had only just embarked on the first – sold-out – North American tour when the world shut down and the four members of Yumi Zouma went their separate ways and returned to their respective homes in Wellington, Christchurch, London, and New York.
“It was disorientating,” says co-founder/multi-instrumentalist Charlie Ryder. “We generally work at a quick clip and average about a record a year, but with no foreseeable plans, we lost our momentum.”
In response, Yumi Zouma set to work, declaring a September 1, 2021 deadline for the album needed to be finished, regardless of world events. What began in fits and starts became a committed practice again as the band worked on new material, digging through demos from as early as 2018 and making them relevant to the peculiar moment in time.
“Someone brings in a seed,” says co-founder/multi-instrumentalist Josh Burgess, “and through collaboration, it grows into a song that is vastly different from its original form.”
“The lyrics on these songs feel like premonitions, in some regards,” says lead singer/keyboardist Christie Simpson. “So much has changed for us, both personally and as a band, that things I wrote because the words sounded good together now speak to me in ways I didn’t anticipate.”
Present Tense evolved via remote and in-person sessions in Wellington, Florence, New York, Los Angeles, and London, its sound developed and broadened by pedal steel, pianos, saxophones, woodwinds, and strings played by friends around the globe. The complex scope of the recordings were then fine-tuned by an array of top mixers, including Ash Workman (Christine & The Queens, Metronomy), Kenny Gilmore (Weyes Blood, Julia Holter), and Jake Aron (Grizzly Bear, Chairlift), with mastering by Antoine Chabert (Daft Punk, Charlotte Gainsbourg).
“This is our fourth album, so we wanted to pivot slightly, create more extreme versions of songs,” Ryder says. “Working with other artists helped with that and took us far outside of our normal comfort zone.”
Yumi Zouma first revealed Present Tense with last fall’s debut of “Give It Hell.” Inspired by the band’s experience at the start of the pandemic, the track was met by critical applause around the world, with NME praising it as “luminous…a cruisy, lighthearted synth-pop number driven by bright, ‘80s pop-channeling keyboards, and a vocal performance that is restrained, but emotive and evocative.”
“Mona Lisa“ arrived before year’s end, joined by a self-directed official music video ilmed in Lyttleton, New Zealand – a stone’s throw south of the band’s hometown of Christchurch. “Mirroring the nostalgic, cinematic pop of ‘Give It Hell’, the band’s latest is as textured as it melodic,” wrote NME, “its final, soaring refrain culminating with a freewheeling saxophone solo.” “The second instalment of a triumphant return,” declared HAPPY. “‘Mona Lisa’ is alive with pop textures and effortless melodic sophistication… expertly distilled into a pop song that you won’t forget anytime soon.”
Yumi Zouma is Josh Burgess (vocals, guitar), Charlie Ryder (guitar, bass, keys), Christie Simpson (vocals, keys), Olivia Campion (drums)
2022 Live Dates
17th Mar – The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
18th Mar – Lafayette, London
19th Mar – YES, Manchester
21st Mar – Whelan’s, Dublin
22nd Mar – King Tut’s, Glasgow
24th Mar – Le Hasard Ludique, Paris
25th Mar – Botanique, Brussels
27th Mar – Melkweg, Amsterdam
28th Mar – Turmzimmer, Hamburg
29th Mar – Ideal Bar Vega, Copenhagen
31st Mar – Obaren, Stockholm
1st Apr – Krxsset, Oslo
3rd Apr – Burg Schnabel, Berlin
4th Apr – Praga Centrum, Warsaw