Every few years, somebody just comes along and smashes the zeitgeist. Yves Tumor is the latest wunderkind to do so. With the release of the greatest record of the year (so far,) Heaven To A Tortured Mind, I’m going to be one of those terrible fans and predict the future music of Yves Tumor way before the dust has settled on the current release.
Yves Tumor has been signed to Warp for their past two records. Warp is a label that once signed exclusively electronic artists. The roster was full of bands that released unprecedented records and set unlikely benchmarks and hurdles that most other musicians would botch. Through the past 15 years, Warp his been more open to signing indie bands and the label has put out records by grizzly Bear, Gang Gang Dance, Born Ruffians, Battles, and more.
Which is why Warp is the perfect label for Yves Tumor, who seems to be going through a major transition from the experimental electronic music that got them recognition, and now veering towards indie rock. More than anything, Yves Tumor’s new record sounds like TV on the Radio circa 2006. But they refuse to be catalogued as any specific sound. They’re meshing genres together.
TV on the Radio, Radiohead, Prince, the new record inhales the work of all these artists and you can pin the music down to a bunch of influences, even Brit-pop, but it does not lessen the music. I was half waiting for a “parklife”-esq track to show up. Heaven to a Tortured Mind wanders from one state to the next. You can hear all their influences, but they also sound wholly unique.
Yves Tumor is open to collaboration, their best tracks, “Licking An Orchid” and “Kerosene!” Feature James K and Jeremiah Raisen respectively. Collaboration isn’t something exclusive to rap music, a lot of indie bands always get people in the studio. Their collaborations help them make music that’s equal parts challenging and catchy as fuck. And this is why I think Yves Tumor could be the one to lead us in to an indie-rock Renaissance.
Yves Tumor has so much energy and apparent non-stop worker. They spat out Heaven to a Tortured Mind just 1.5 years after the critical darling Safe In The Hands Of love. If you’re not a mumble rapper, 1.5 years is hella quick, and they get better with each album. Even though Yves Tumor’s past two records have been sensational, it feels to me like they’re yet to make their biggest musical statement, several of them, even.
This artist is just so exciting to follow, and I haven’t felt like this about an artist in a long time, that feeling of knowing that big things are on the horizon. It‘s kinda like Animal Collective’s trajectory in the 2000s. They just kept surprising people, and it just so happened that doing whatever they wanted was what the fans wanted. However, there is an argument to be made that Merriweather Post Pavilion ended indie music, so who know Yves Tumor could put out a record so perfect that it ruins everything.