RIYL: Pure Bathing Culture, The xx

Label: Cascine

Yoncalla is a tiny town in western Oregon with a population of about 1,000. In its relative obscurity, I imagine it’s at times peaceful & enchanting with a warm breeze, at others, dreary & desolate with a chill in the air. But for all I know, maybe it’s just horrible (sorry if you live there; I’d love to hear otherwise from you). I imagine the same qualities about Yumi Zouma’s debut full-length of the same name, except I can say for certain that it will not be horrible! How are the two Yoncallas actually related? Is a member from there? Did they record it there? I literally have no idea.

Of all the great music the fine folk here at Sly Vinyl have turned me on to, Yumi Zouma may be my favorite with their at once modest & expansive style of pop that fits perfectly into Cascine’s palette. The band’s first full-length album also marks the first time the typically geographically fractured four-piece convened in the same place to do their songwriting collectively. If four friends had the patience to keep their band together across continents & craft each other’s writing into two daydream-inducing EPs, imagine the mellowed-out pop bliss they’ve masterminded through their collaborative process. Come late May, Yoncalla might just lull listeners into a daydream they can’t snap out of…not that anyone’s opposed to that.

The Details

The first 500 copies of the limted vinyl package come on marbled white and grey wax.

The debut album by Yumi Zouma launches May 27 and the band will embark on a tour that stretches across North America, Europe, New Zealand and Japan starting next month.

Where Yumi Zouma’s previous EPs were created in isolation, capturing the nuances of each member’s life half a world away, the new material was given a singular voice. “Yumi Zouma has always been an exercise in refining ideas and collaborating,” reflects guitarist Charlie Ryder, “but this was the first time we weren’t limited or protected by distance. With Yoncalla, the process was different, and it can be scary to present raw ideas to your friends ‐ but it’s also incredible to see songs evolve through the sparks of inspiration that bounce between people in the same room.” That intimacy is apparent on Yoncalla ‐ an album about being close to people, rather than miles apart. Yumi Zouma’s effortless waves of harmony have been redefined and the creative process laid bare to expose an act more unguarded and interconnected than ever before.

Additionally, Yoncalla sees Yumi Zouma continue their tradition of creating collectable vinyl releases, with the new album including a limited grey 7” that includes two studio outtakes from the recording sessions. The 7” will be bundled with the first 500 copies of the Yoncalla 12”.

To capture the concepts on Yoncalla, New Zealand visual artist Henrietta Harris was tapped to create the cover art, illustrating the band together on a front cover for the first time.

Additional Images

Thanks to Sindre Ernst for the tip!

Price $25

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