By: Sophia Pietan
Much like their music, a lot of Yves Tumor’s background remains a mystery to many. Their name may or may not be Sean Lee Bowie, when asked any personal information Tumor remains vague and acts as if their persona is unimportant to what they do in music. One thing that we do know about Yves Tumor is that they are a one-of-a-kind artist of this generation.
Since 2010, Tumor has been contributing to the music scene under numerous aliases exploring music that is dreamy and ambient and conversely music that is harsh and tumultuous. Throughout Yves Tumor’s discography these binaries are ever-present. From their first release, Serpent Music, to their latest, Praise A God Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume, Tumor is constantly mending funk/R&B with ambient electronic music. The artist does this to show that genre is insignificant and is used like many other labels in our society to confine and organize people and things into recognizable characteristics of that identity. Tumor’s personal identity, like their music, is a manifestation of rejecting norms and binaries in the music world, challenging the notion of what R&B sounds like in this time.
Yves Tumor’s music has facets that make it rather spiritual, I believe this is intentional on their part. When I am listening to their music I often notice a descent into the darkness of life, a way to represent the madness and confusion of the world we live in. The use of heavily distorted instrumentals with their ethereal vocals are constantly in opposition with each other, conveying this madness, but in turn creating something immensely unique and beautiful.
I have so much excitement for their show coming up this coming Thursday, May 11th to see how they bring this madness and beauty to life on the stage. There is a lot of anticipation for their performance because of their signature aloofness. Many I’ve talked to who are fans of Tumor, have thrown out all expectations they may have for other shows. Tumor’s music similarly pushes the listeners to abandon their comfortable binaries in music and just let the art speak for itself, a choice that is brave and bold.