Last fall, as Taylor Swift was releasing her blockbuster album 1989, she declared that her “very first documented, official pop album” wouldn’t be what she called “evil pop.” She went on to explain that if her pop songs get stuck in your head, unlike with those evildoers, you’ll “know what the song is about as well.” It’s hard to know if Yumi Zouma would pass Swift’s musical morals test — their synth-chiming dream-pop has a gauzy sense of understatement absent from, say, “Welcome to New York” — but, in perhaps unrealistically magnified moments, it’s tempting to consider the New Zealand-formed, currently multi-continental trio a non-evil-pop success story.
Last year, not long after collaborating with sadly defunct Swedish cult favorites Air France, Yumi Zouma were on tour with pop overlord (and Swift BFF) Lorde. And their music lends itself to unrealistically magnified moments: From EP II, available March 10 via Cascine, their “Song for Zoe & Gwen” has a heart-in-mouth swoon that makes sense when you learn that Zoe was Yumi member Charlie Ryder’s date to the Kiwi equivalent of prom. Now come the pillowy romantic pinpricks of “Dodi,” which finds transcendence “when you touch me in the club,” because for these two protagonists “there is no me and you.” It’s about love, good pop people.
EP II (March 10, Cascine)
4. Second Wave
5. Song for Zoe & Gwen