When Covid was officially announced as a pandemic by WHO, New Zealand four piece Yumi Zouma had just played a sell out show on the beginning of their North American tour to support third album ‘Truth or Consequences’. Having to retreat back to their homes, Yumi Zouma say that they lost their momentum as there was no clear end in sight. Rather than be defeated, they set a deadline of the end of 2021 to write a new album, the product of which is ‘Present Tense’.
Rather than sound like a band who have lost momentum, ‘Present Tense’ is the sound of a band completely in stride, playing with passion and meaning. From the first 80’s synth wave style strains of ‘Give It Hell’, Yumi Zouma get their hooks in you and refuse to let go.
There’s a beautiful subtlety in the music which is evident on tracks such as ‘Mona Lisa’ where, even though Yumi Zouma adds layer upon layer toward the end to create a sublime crescendo, it never overwhelms but somehow stays understated which is a talent in itself.
‘Where The Light Used To Lay’ rings slightly of Haim by way of Fleetwood Mac which sees Yumi Zouma flex their pop muscle while still maintaining an air of dream pop that sets them apart.
‘Of Me and You’ picks the tempo up slightly with the rapid drums underpinning that luxurious alt pop indie blanket of music. ‘Present Tense’ is one of those albums that, when I’m meant to be writing a word or two about them, I can’t help but just repeatedly hit that repeat button and find myself getting absorbed in to Yumi Zouma’s world. If this is what a band that has lost momentum can achieve, all other bands should just stop trying now.