Tag Archives: Yumi Zouma

The Essential Alt-Pop of Cascine


In the winter of 2010, Jeff Bratton took a sabbatical from his corporate job in Los Angeles and flew to Sweden. There, he met the owners of his favorite record label—a small indie named Service, whose roster included Jens Lekman, The Embassy and The Tough Alliance—and asked if he could help out. “I didn’t have any experience, and there wasn’t a whole lot of money to go around, but I just wanted to be involved,” Bratton says. A month later, he returned to Los Angeles with his own personal Service email address. But more importantly, he’d lit the fuse for a career in the music business. 

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This Week’s Essential Releases: Hip-Hop, Electronic, Indie Pop, and More

7 essential

Welcome to Seven Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend six new albums that were released between last Friday and this Friday, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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Former Yumi Zouma Frontwoman Kim Pflaum Finds New Life as Madeira

Kim Pflaum
Madeira is Kim Pflaum.

On Bad Humors, her first EP as Madeira, Kim Pflaum fills her songs with funk-inspired bass lines and bantamweight synths, formusic that sits halfway between disco and pop. The roots of that sound were clearly established during her previous gig as the front woman of Yumi Zouma. Having shepherded that band through two EPs of light dance pop—plus a gig opening for Lorde—Pflaum sounds wistful when she recounts the group’s history, even though she prefers not to dwell too heavily on the past.

“I wasn’t ready to leave at all,” she confesses via Skype from her studio in Auckland, New Zealand. “It was sad that I did have to. I can’t be so close to having all my dreams come true and not let it happen!”

The pressure Pflaum placed on herself resulted in a song-cycle that allows itself room to dreamwhile still acknowledging the darkness of reality. Pflaum’s voice floats like a pop princess and stings when she needs to get something off her chest. (Key lyric: “Took apart all I knew and tried again/ Only I thought this was real and it was going somewhere.”) As Pflaum explains, the final product mirrors the process.

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