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CD of The Week

Week of 3/20/23

    Yves Tumor - Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, (Warp)

    The first song, and single, from Yves Tumor's epic new album, climaxes with their confession that "there's parts of me I still don't even know yet" There's a hunger in that statement, one that's palpable in the songs and sonics that come next. Praise a Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds) is the sound of someone finding themselves as both a person and an artist, and self-discovery rarely sounds as viscerally thrilling and fulfilling on record as it does here.

    Like all artists on British indie Warp, Tumor is a master at excavating space within impenetrable walls of sound and adding one more brick from another wall of sound. The mortar that makes them one comes courtesy of Alan Moulder, a sound engineer who had a hand in the construction of modern walls of sound by indie rock titans like My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, and Beach House. He meets a new match in Tumor who weaves droning post-punk, dreamy synth-pop, and steamy R&B. Vocally alone, they can conjure anyone from Seth Bogart to Prince in the way they stretch and strain themselves. 

    The most fun part of the first listen is hearing how these ingredients are configured into completely different flavors in each song. "Lovely Sewer" is an elegant electro elegy worthy of New Order, while another single "Parody" is a Siamese Dream rendered more celestial by Tumor's keening falsetto. "Operator" one-ups the lo-fi rave-ups of the aforementioned Bogart, and "Purified By The Fire" serves up an evocative hip-hop loop just to dice it up with a lumbering dance beat.

    Tumor saves the best for last, however. "Ebony Eye" finds their vocals replicating themselves into a nation armed with guitars against the world. Together they proudly proclaim "I found my holy place". If Hot Between Worlds is Tumor's invitation to join them there, we'd be fools not to accept. Something tells me there are greater wonders to hear within.

    Yves Tumor brings their worlds to Franklin Music Hall on May 5th.
    Review by Rob Huff

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