Electro-pop quartet Yumi Zouma‘s new album, “Willowbank,” is a delightful breeze blowing across the first nice day of spring, a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer day, a romp through dry leaves in the fall, or the first clean snowfall of winter – take your pick. It’s a delight.
“Depths (Pt. 1)” gets off to a snappy start with a toe-tapping beat and bouncy vocals, and the follow-up, “Persephone,” is about as perfect of an electro-pop song you’ll hear this year.
The Cure-like bass of “December” will get you moving, even if you’re seated. “Half Hour” is a pretty love song with subtle percussion and synths and excellent use of male-female vocals during the chorus. The beats on “Us, Together” remind me of early 1980’s New Order tracks, but the guitar is straight-up shoegaze.
“Gabriel” might be a song about having a crush on a ghost. I’m not sure, but it is pretty dream-pop nonetheless. “Carnation” is one of the sexiest songs on the record with lyrics about staying in bed all day and letting the world go by without a care except for each other.
The beats on “In Blue” are so slick that you might fall down when they spill out of your speakers and onto the floor. They’re dance floor-ready on “Other People,” which is about thinking twice before and after a break-up (“Took it hard when I sent you out to sea. I think I love you, but I could be wrong.”).
The synth bass on “A Memory” is the soundtrack of your favorite 1980’s video game you played once at a cousin’s house and could never find after that. “Ostra” has a light soul / R&B vibe to it that I love.
The album ends with “Depths (Pt. II),” a song about how love changes as we grow older, uses many of the same lyrics as the first part but now at a slower, more ethereal pace.
Get this record if you need a break from anger, online rants, or work B.S., or even if you just love dream-pop and shoegaze music. It’s one of the loveliest records of the year.
Keep your mind open.
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