Yves Tumor takes us on a guided tour of his dreams on "Dream Palette," the latest single from his brand new album Heaven to a Tortured Mind.

From its inception, Yves Tumor's arty pop/r&b/funk has had an uncanny, dreamlike quality to it. In the foreground, you have a slightly traditional neo-funk, not too far removed from modern practitioners like Devonte Hynes' Blood Orange project or even The Weeknd, minus the withdrawals. Like a dream, however, Yves Tumor's music goes soft and squishy when you focus on it. Characters seem to warp and melt, like they're made out of candle wax or are secretly hyper-intelligent insects wearing human suits. All manner of craziness might be going on, as Tumor's artful indie pop swarms with echoes and cavernous reverbs, as if it were some sort of soul concert in a dirigible hangar on Mars.



All of this implied weirdness is brought into stark relief on "Dream Palette," the latest single from Tumor's excellent new LP on Warp Records, Heaven to a Tortured Mind, co-released alongside the also excellent "Romanticist." If you're listening to "Dream Palette" as a standalone, you might be left feeling as if you came in on a sequel in a trilogy, as "Dream Palette" hits the ground running with a Jiffy Pop explosion of clattering percussion and fireworks. The dreamlike feeling is immediately evident, with such a riot of sound, many of them non-musical. If the surreal, psychedelic indie pop group Olivia Tremor Control were to record a Prince tribute album, it might sound similar to "Dream Palette."

Yves Tumor continues to prove he's one of the most interesting and important voices working in the indie/r&b/hip-hop/soul/funk orbit. His music always remains rooted in musicality, with an emphasis on memorable melodies you can hum along to, but it's all captured and presented in such a unique and off-the-wall way. With artists like Blood Orange, you get the feeling everything's calculated, a put-on, "wacky" for the sake of weirdness. Yves Tumor, on the other hand, seems genuinely weird AF. And God bless his weird serpentine soul for it.

We Are: The Guard thank the stars for sonic visionaries who are always pushing the envelope and keeping music strange and interesting.


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.