Spark Radio by Nic Harcourt: New Songs from Yumi Zouma, Gabriels + More


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It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Spark’s music expert and legendary L.A. radio DJ Nic Harcourt to weigh in on what new music he’s got on repeat at the moment. Below, he shares his newest picks added to his Spark Radio playlist and shares a spotlight on his favorite earworm of the week.

Riton, Gucci Sound System, Jarvis Cocker: Let’s Stick Around
Jasmyn: Find The Light
Claud: Tommy
Yumi Zouma: Mona Lisa
Ovlov: Eat More
Bellows: Rancher’s Parade
Lucy Dacus: Thumbs Again
Holly Humberstone: Friendly Fire
Beach House: Once Twice Melody
Amber Mark: Softly
Gabriels: Bloodline
Courtney Barnett: If I Don’t Hear From You Tonight
Metro: Green Felt
IDLES: Crawl!

Yumi Zouma: Mona Lisa

New Zealand’s Yumi Zouma are an interesting collective of musicians whose various members met each other in the Christchurch live music scene. Consisting of Christie Simpson (vocals, keyboards), Josh Burgess (guitar, bass guitar, vocals, keyboards), Charlie Ryder (guitar, bass guitar, keyboards), and Olivia Campion (drums) the band first began writing music together through email and file sharing and with various members living abroad at different times, still do. With three highly regarded EPs as well as three full-length albums and an ongoing series of singles under their belts, the group has been a little quiet in 2021, until now. 

Their new single “Mona Lisa” is out now (accompanied by a super cool video below). “It came to us gradually over a long period of time – so its story has changed and shifted, developing new relevance with each new phase of our lives,” says Yumi Zouma’s Christie Simpson of the track. “It’s a song that ruminates on conflicting, shifting uncertainty – of wanting someone that maybe you can’t have – of uncertain boundaries, of confusing interactions, misunderstanding, yearning. Trying to forget an obsession – or shifting between losing all hope and giving in to the obsession – lured back by the excitement and promise – the moments of feeling so alive. The terror and joy of a big crush.”

And the video? “We wanted the video to feel like a mirror to all those emotions along the passage of time – except in isolation,” Simpson says. “A year stuck inside (as we have been), alone with the big feelings, the big highs, and the low lows – dancing around your bedroom, losing it a little bit. Moving in, making it yours, moving out again. The strange phase we’ve been existing in, trying to thrive in (occasionally succeeding, but often not). The joy, the sadness, the conflict, the chaos – without ever really leaving your bedroom.”

Photo by: Nick Grennon