Yves Tumor was one of those names I’d heard in passing over the last few years, but truth be told never made it to my ears. I thought maybe it was the name of a rapper, or some strange avante garde pop artist like Arca. Turns out I was wrong and sort of in the same ballpark at the same time.
Yves Malone is the name of the musical project of Sean Bowie, a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter and all around musical wizard. Bowie has been likened to Prince and his own namesake, David Bowie. You can hear that in his work, beginning in experimental sounds and pop but evolving his sound into electro pop, soul, and alternative rock. His discography is worth a deep dive if you’re not familiar.
On Yves Tumor’s newest album(and third for UK label Warp Records) Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume(Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds) the artists formerly known as Sean Bowie pulls no stops. This is 37 minutes of kinetic, propulsive, and futuristic pop and rock. I’m not sure where this music comes from, but I’m here for all of it.
If you’re pining for artists to be “original” and “singular” again, then look no further than Yves Tumor. His new album are those and more. Connecting the dots between Bowie, Prince, synthwave, electro-clash, The Weeknd, and giving it all a production sheen that Daniel Lopatin would be proud of. Yves Tumor is more alternative and rock than pop, but he’s pulling from it all in a breathless, urgent kind of way.
“God Is A Clrcle” opens Praise on an almost post-punk note. Kinetic electronic percussion runs loose as the vocals haunt in an almost robotic whisper. There’s guitars, strings, and a wheeze of noise just under the surface. “Lovely Sewer” comes right in with a catchy synth melody, Bowie’s vocals linger between Lenny Kravitz and Justin Vernon timbre. The song seems to go from electro Sebadoh to Lower Dens in the drop of a hat.
Praise is a love letter to the last 40 years of outsider art; music, art, fashion or otherwise, while sounding made with modern ears and a creatively burning mind. Yves Tumor seems to evolve and morph with each song, going from 90s alt(“Meteora Blues”), 2010s indie(“Parody”), and 70s post-punk(“Operator”) all the while feeling very much a Yves Tumor original.
Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume;(Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds) is a mouthful, and worth every bite.