On Saturday night, I braved Texas’ unseasonably cold weather for a chance to see New Zealand’s Yumi Zouma for the first time. While the quintet of Kiwis is no stranger to Indie Shuffle, I only recently discovered this chic group, thanks to a thoughtful playlist stemming from Rhye’s latest work.
I didn’t enter the night with high expectations of this young band. Moody, soft synths don’t always translate perfectly on stage. I didn’t know they had previously opened for Lorde and Chet Faker. I had no idea that I was about to be dazzled.
Christie Simpson, Sam Perry, Charlie Ryder, Josh Burgess, and new drummer Olivia Campion gracefully balance romantic, dreamy vocals with sunrise-inspired synths. While I watched these multi-instrumentalists gilded around the stage, shuffling between instruments, I felt myself leaning into the band’s beautiful guitar melodies. Dare I say it was some of the most gorgeous guitar work I’ve heard in my 31 years of music exploration.
Long before the band started pulling fans up on stage for GirlTalk-worthy dance finale, it occurred to me that I was watching a sliver of history unfold. I can clearly see Yumi Zouma’s future, at least within Austin.
SXSW veterans, the band filled Barracuda this past weekend.
The next time they visit Austin, I expect to see them shine at the Mohawk. A little music showcase, where they will effortlessly steal the show.
They’ll be invited back to Austin City Limits, and make the most of their trip by laying an early morning, pre-fest acoustic set for one of the local radio stations.
In multiple round-up articles, Yumi Zouma will be listed as one of the top acts to see.
With each announcement, a handful of us will yelp, “I saw them in January 2018! They didn’t even have shirts for sale! I snagged the last Willowbank canvas bag!” Our quiet pride will overflow. We won’t be able to help ourselves.
I can’t help myself.
Yumi Zouma has so many stages to conquer, in Texas and around this lovely globe. The sooner you see them, the better.