Heaven To A Tortured Mind is the fourth album by Yves Tumor, aka American experimental electronic producer, Sean Bowie (no relation). It is the follow-up to his critically lauded album from 2018, Safe In The Hands of Love, which was his debut for Warp. They thought it was so good that they’d let him make another, and we're delighted. I think It’s worth noting that he has also performed under the name Yvsie Ray Vaughan.
Limited Vinyl LP £19.60 WARPLP304X
Limited edition, indies only silver vinyl LP on Warp. Comes in a gatefold sleeve with printed inner sleeve.
- Coloured vinyl
- Indies only
- Limited edition
- Includes download code
- Only 1 copy left (12 people have this in their carts)
CD £10.50 WARPCD304
CD on Warp. Comes in a 6-panel digipak.
- Only 1 copy left
Vinyl LP £19.60 WARPLP304
Black vinyl LP on Warp. Comes in a gatefold sleeve with printed inner sleeve.
- Includes download code
When TV On The Radio released their 2011 LP ‘Nine Types Of Light’, the advert for the album that ran on streaming services quoted a review which described it as sounding “like prime-time Prince”. The jury is still out on that claim - for all of Tunde Adebimpe’s falsetto flourishes TVotR’s sound is just too muscular for Prince comparisons to fully stick - but I was reminded of the phrase when listening to Yves Tumor’s ‘Heaven To A Tortured Mind’.
You see, if ‘Nine Types Of Light’ was showtime, ‘Heaven To A Tortured Mind’ is Prince after dark. Specifically, it’s the point of the after-party when one too many drinks have flowed and you find yourself slumped on a couch, something by The Artist Formerly Known As wafting from the stereo over the chatter of fellow revellers. Vision begins to cloud, speech starts to slur, the walls bend and warp...
While they are more or less a pop singer now, Tumor’s early work was characterised by abrasive sonics and experimental looping. Ghosts of these avant techniques remain on 'Heaven To A Tortured Mind' - they’re there in the stunted drum-breaks that butt in and out of the mix on tunes like ‘Gospel For A New Century’, and also in the record’s penchant for slightly-too-fuzzy bass guitars and etherised, Future-Hendrix guitar noodling. This is syrupy, gloopy music, foreboding without exactly being dark. Tracks etherise you with the same uncanny air that one finds in the library inversions of David Axelrod, and the music leaves you feeling languid and hazed.
Lyrically, Tumor vocalises the voice in your head that struggles for air in the minutes after you realise that you've gone beyond half-cut. Their strange, strained singing warps through a soup of urges, and lyrics skip by the line from the louchely sexual to talk of severed heads. It’s an even more purple-prose version of what they went for on 2018’s ‘Safe In The Hands Of Love’, almost as if Tumor has now become the Goblin Stardust beast that they worshipped back then. Sometimes they attempt to rally from the stupor, to raise their self and take control of their physicality, but they're too far gone - on ‘Dream Palette’, one of the joints in which Tumor’s character fronts as having their shit together, they can only proffer valium-fogged come-ons rather than something more controlled. It’s no surprise that, two tracks down the line, they're slumped even further, murmuring within their self amid the sepia-tone indie abstractions of ‘Folie Imposée’.
The only minor criticism here would be that ‘Heaven To A Tortured Mind’ can be a little one-note, a little *too* faded, the peaks and troughs of previous Tumor records lacking. However, this strikes me as a deliberate choice - after all, when you’re drifting, things just wash over you.
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