Tunisian female-male duo Ÿuma make the best of acoustic folk and blues filtered through their local inspirations.
Formed just around three years, a young duo of Sabrine Jenhani and Ramy Zoghlemi has quickly developed their very own combination of the best folk rock traditions and local inspirations and Arabic lyrics.
Although they were initially known from their covers songs, their original debut album “Chura” came out early in 2016 and it has been quite a success, with great response both from listeners and critics.
In March this year, just one year after their debut, Ÿuma gave us their second release, an EP called “Ghbar Njoum“. It included five tracks, starting with an earnest, beautifully arranged “Darek”, and ending in a heartbreaking acoustic ballad “Wine?”.
Between these two tracks, however, was what might be their most impressive song yet named “Hleli (هلالي).
In the five minutes of “Hleli”, you can hear perfect vocal duos, blues-y guitar – demonstrating one of their main inspirations – mesmerizing rhythms, and this kind of musical tension that makes you stop whatever you’re doing right now and listen closely, and then play the song again.
“Hleli” is certainly one of the most captivating songs to have come out this year from North Africa, or maybe even worldwide. Yet before we’ve managed to absorb the EP properly, Ÿuma came back with a new single “Khallini Chwaya” (خلّيني شويّة), accompanied by an official video created by Thierry Salvert.
Initially a stripped-down acoustic ballad, it gradually grows first with a soft drum and strings, until a powerful ending with heavy beat and cinematic drama. Enjoy – and expect more soon from this talented duo.
Stream “Ghbar Njoum” EP on Spotify.
Photo: Jesser Lahdhiri