Sometimes, it is a location that inspires a spirit. We go to people and things like, books or Oprah, in hopes that someone or something will give us the strength to be better. Yumi Zouma went to their native New Zealand to create their October 6 release, Willowbank.
The irony returning home to create did not surpass Yumi Zouma’s minds as, often, we think leaving is what will spark our creative freedom. Yet, surrounded by friends, family, Kiwi traditions, and the natural serenity you feel when you are where you are from, the Yumis created a record that is “homey” for listeners, as well. Willowbank, simply, feels easy to the ears. Tracks like, “Gabriel”, “In Blue”, “A Memory”, and “Depths (Part I and II) are standout tracks for me because they feel the same even in difference. I know that saying “everything” is the “same” might seem uncomplimentary, but when the same is beauty, it is actually great. To journey through Willowbank is to step into a lake of sound where each ripple/rhythm may manifest differently, but all remain apart of the same lake’s serenity. Hence, the album was composed to feel like one fluid display of sound; where no tracks feels unforced or untethered from the other. Often, albums have their standout singles that even sound different from the artist’s usual style or the album’s overall essence. Yet, with the feeling of home being their foundation, Yumi Zouma, Christie Simpson’s feels like the anchor tying together Willowbank’s constant, welcoming vibe.
I want to listen to Simpson’s voice every-time I need to calm down. I just want to press play, and hear her tell me, in as many ways possible, that there is still safety in this world if you can return home. Tracks like, “Carnation” and “Other People”, show that even if you are lonely or happy, if your feet are still on the ground that means something. With soft, electric up-tempos coursing throughout the record, Yumi Zouma have delivered an album that proves every day is another simple chance to appreciate and better your life like a home. To Buy Yumi Zouma’s Willowbank on October 6 Click Here.