It’s only been eight years since Yves Tumor jumped on the scene in true oddball fashion, and yet it feels that so much has changed. Perennially known for their rejection of boundaries and conventions of all kinds, from genre to gender, no one puts Tumor in a box. Yves Tumor has always had a knack for subversion, and this has never been as clear as with their latest release, an album which I will only call by its full name once: Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds).
Coming after a three-year break from Tumor’s last project, the psych-cyber-soul experiment Heaven To A Tortured Mind (2020), Tumor’s 2023 album with the long name is simultaneously an extreme departure and the obvious next step. Featuring clear inspirations from post-punk, hardcore, and woozy, depressing cloud rap a la Lil Peep, the album is nothing if not adventurous.
From the grinding, industrial, almost frightening opener “God Is a Circle,” with its unsettling breath samples and dripping mood, we embark on a sonic and emotional journey that covers themes like the superficial hierarchy of fame, the juvenile, irresistible instinct to place those we’re attracted to on a pedestal, and the experience of missing someone so badly you wonder if they ever existed at all.
Aesthetically, …Hot Between Worlds is predictably unpredictable. “Heaven Surrounds Us Like a Hood,” is a great example: in one moment you’re on the receiving end of a wall of synths and destroyed guitars, a terminal-speed barrage that feels like it might take your flesh clean of as it flies through you. But then suddenly, we’re snapped to a simple, groovy, psych-rock riff. Then, a dizzying emo-rock guitar solo that spirals amongst oscillating vocal samples, finally ending with desperate, fragile, pleading amongst a delicate synth line.
In a world where genre delineations can feel so rigid and restrictive, it’s refreshing to hear them so elegantly thrown aside, like a drab cloak discarded to reveal the ball gown beneath. With …Hot Between Worlds, Yves Tumor is not just colouring outside the lines, but burning the book, the crayons, and the whole classroom down in yet another blaze of formless, inimitable glory.