The Top 30 Albums Of 2020 (So Far): Yves Tumor - 'Heaven To A Tortured Mind'

1 July 2020 | 2:10 pm | Cyclone Wehner

'The Music' team on the albums you need to hear from 2020.

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"A ride." - Cyclone

The mysterious Yves Tumor has steadily forged underground credibility as a post-genre renegade since their initial excursions into IDM, circa 2015. The American vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and producer found a new profile with 2018's Safe In The Hands Of Love – their first album on Warp Records the culmination of increasingly wild electronic experimentation. Yet Tumor's follow-up is altogether different – and it's surprisingly, if idiosyncratically, more immediate.

Heaven To A Tortured Mind veers into rock – Tumor disrupting the post-punk, grunge and shoegaze idioms while manifesting lust and lamentation. Still, blues, soul or funk elements creep in unexpectedly – as on the opener (and lead single) Gospel For A New Century, swaggeringly funky with its horns, or Hasdallen Lights, which recalls a trippier André 3000 or Kelis. Above all, Tumor is about transgressive motion. Medicine Burn could be Public Image Ltd with fuzzier guitar. Kerosene!, a duet with Diana Gordon, is a beat switch minus the switch, swinging from velvet soul balladry to glam rock. The finale, A Greater Love, manoeuvres back to faded psych-soul tranquillity. 

The phantasmagoric Heaven To A Tortured Mind is (vaguely) comparable to Nona Hendryx's rock revolution, Terence Trent D'Arby's pivot from soul to prog, or early Tricky, when he was hailed as the next Prince. A ride.

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