Throughout their fourth LP, which follows 2020’s acclaimed album Truth or Consequences, Yumi Zouma expand on their established dream pop sound with defiance and a palpable sense of urgency, drawing on collaboration to push the four-piece out of their comfort zone, looking to explore the extreme edges of their music, resulting in their most formidable release to date.
Without looming tour dates driving them to release new music, the prolific band found themselves at a standstill. So, they set a date. By September 1st, 2021, the album needed to be finished, regardless of whether they’d be able to tour it or even meet to record together. With a mix of remote and in-person sessions in studios in Wellington, Florence, New York, Los Angeles, and London, what began in fits and starts became a committed practice again as Yumi Zouma dug through demos from as early as 2018 to collaborate on and make relevant to the peculiar moment in time the band, and world, was experiencing.
Bringing in new collaborators from different disciplines and from around the globe, the band enlisted disparate friends to contribute pianos, saxophones, woodwinds, pedal steels and strings, multiple mixers in Ash Workman (Christine & The Queens, Metronomy), Kenny Gilmore and Jake Aron (Grizzly Bear, Chairlift), and recruited the mastering expertise of Antoine Chabert (Daft Punk, Charlotte Gainsbourg) for the first time.
There’s a defiance heard throughout Present Tense, a refusal to bend to what might seem fated, communicated not only through lyrics but in the boldness of these arrangements, metamorphosing between tracks without ever losing momentum. Dedicated to an embattled past, Yumi Zouma’s fourth album is the band’s offering to a tenuous future.
Available on clear vinyl with embossed cover.