Heaven to a Tortured Mind – Yves Tumor

A bit more straightforward than Yves Tumor’s previous album Safe In The Hands of Love, we see Heaven to a Tortured Mind shift away from the nebulous electronic sounds towards a psychedelic glam rock tone. It’s a bit more pop-oriented than their previous work but draws upon a collage of sounds built from art rock, Britpop, psych, glam, and soul. The basslines and drum grooves are particularly impressive as they help give the songs a bigger, stage-oriented sound. Together with the flourishes of noise and distortion, Yves Tumor’s voice feels like a rockstar prowling on stage with their raspy voice interjected with falsettos. Always stretched out with a slight reverb backing it, the vocals drip in confidence as they’re laced against the dreamy instrumentation.

Heaven to a Tortured Mind stands out compared to Yves Tumor’s other work because it has a real penchant for flair. The way the vocals are purposely drawn out slowly is reminiscent of the sheer stage presence of musical titans like David Bowie or Prince. Each line is oozing bravado and on Heaven to a Tortured Mind, Yves Tumor feels like they were born for the stage. The minute shifts in sound are reflected in repeating motifs that swirl together until they are indistinguishable from one another. The lyricism is still as cryptic and apocalyptic as ever despite the sensual, intimate movements of vocals throughout. From its biblical references to terrifying imagery of violence, the stark difference places a unique tension on its listeners and it truly feels like Yves Tumor has pushed the neo-psychedelia genre into the 21st century. Heaven to a Tortured Mind doesn’t feel confined to any rules nor does it ever seem to run out of ideas to hold it together.

At times, the drawn-out vocals can make the music feel compressed during its vital moments. Yves Tumor’s voice never seems to be able to fully breathe into the climax that it wants to and the vocal effects feel redundant against the murky backdrop. On songs like Folie Imposée, the vocals feel like they operate on their own instead of following the pounding bassline and jumpy synths. Nevertheless, the majority of the album balances the scales effectively as Yves Tumor blossoms into a rockstar for a new generation. In some ways, Heaven to a Tortured Mind feels like an experiment, a transitional state before Yves Tumor takes their music to something beyond what the traditional boundaries of pop stars should sound like. The sheer personality that Yves Tumor injects into these twelve songs is what makes it a gratifying, heart-rending trip through the heavens.

Must Listens: Gospel For A New Century, Romanticist, Dream Palette


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I turned my incoherent ramblings on music, anime, and video games into an entire blog.

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