Laumė (fka MADEIRA)
New Zealand-born songwriter Kim Pflaum professes “My creations are like my children,” while discussing the process behind her synth-pop recording project, Laumė (rhymes with Pflaum). This January, Pflaum will deliver her aptly-titled new LP, Waterbirth, by way of Carpark Records, finally sharing her most complex and infectious body of work to date. Laumė’s Waterbirth is a musically and lyrically-rich full length, inspired by Pflaum’s growing consciousness and the sounds of the ‘70s and ‘80s golden age of pop.
After her tenure fronting the NZ four-piece Yumi Zouma, Pflaum began developing some of the personal writing and recordings she had been working on alone. Her natural talent for alluring vocal melodies and dreamy production gave way to her first solo release under the name MADEIRA, Bad Humors. The EP is made up of shimmering guitars, angelic harmonies, and a grooving rhythm section, which culminate into songs about hurt, heartbreak, and moving on. Following the release of Bad Humors, Pflaum decided to rename her project Laumė (inspired by eastern European folklore) and had a stint in London, where her songwriting began a new period of incubation.
Over the course of nearly three years, Pflaum wrote and recorded material for Waterbirth everywhere she had the space to–from Okie Dokie studio in Auckland, to flats around London, to even a train across Poland. “Slowly, track by track, it became a bigger project,” Pflaum recalls. During a point in her life where she began refocusing her attention from her own interpersonal conflicts to the complexities of the world around her, she began writing songs with a grander scope. Pflaum traveled to eastern Europe in an effort to learn more about her ancestry firsthand, and also started examining the darker parts of her psyche. Throughout the process, Pflaum joined forces with Rude Jude, whose knowledge as a producer and arsenal of electronic instruments helped shape the sound and tone of Waterbirth. These new discoveries led Pflaum to start questioning human nature and its nuances in her writing. Her darker and more existential lyrics cast a shadow on Laumė’s typically bright hooks in the new songs she wrote. Slowly as the two worked together, each song they crafted would reinforce the record’s sonic and lyrical duality.
Since the project’s conception, Laumė has performed alongside acts like Tanukichan, Kid Trails, and Corbu, and has collaborated with artists like Boycrush (NZ), Brett (US), Swimgood (CAN), and Zimmer (France). As her creative practice has evolved and expanded, so has her ability to learn more about herself through her work. With Waterbirth, Laumė has cultivated a vast range of musical ideas and inspirations to create something greater than the sum of its parts.