This week's FRONTPAGE is a multimedia amalgamation of a multifaceted artist at the forefront of today's creative avant garde – the one and only Yves Tumor. Combining paintings, poetry, and a new music video, this feature is the closest we could come to capturing the essence of the infinitely unpredictable artist.
Earlier this year, Yves Tumor released their exceptional new album Heaven to a Tortured Mind via WARP Records. It seemed almost impossible that they could follow up their instant 2018 masterpiece – Safe in the Hands of Love, an album that Pitchfork rightfully described as a "benchmark in experimental music" – with a work just as maddeningly great. But that was precisely what they did.
Like its creator, it's a record of chaotic, conflicted beauty – too indeterminate and complex to be pinned down in normal music journalist terms. Fittingly, then, the normal standards of promotional material didn't seem to apply to Tumor. Their work demands to be engaged with, not explained.
With that in mind, we enlisted the expertise of the equally multitudinous artist and all around indie icon Cody Critcheloe (known to many as the impresario behind musical project SSION) to create a series of paintings of Tumor. As friends, artistic peers, and kindred spirits, they succeed in (partly) capturing a sense of the intimacy and intangibility that bleed through Tumor's own work. They are presented here alongside a piece of text written by poet and musician James Massiah and Tumor's brand new visual for album track "Strawberry Privilege," which you can watch below.
Slip through the side door Twist it so it is If it’s not quite And turn the light off Make it darker Yes Darker still If you don’t mind I almost lost mine More than once And my soul too I burnt bright blue in the bunsen There was colour too Yayo in abundance A yellowish tinge Twist it more Twist it so it isn’t quite so Recognisable I don’t wanna see anyone I know No more I don’t want them to know it’s me When I bust back through those Saloon doors Fresh out the salon Saturn returns yo Now twist it Twist it more Till you can see the horns Distort it Beyond your memories Of what it was because It ain't about to be that no more And neither we Neither’s they Do you think that Nimrod should stay? Or maybe you think John should go - so long salome Well If they do
We all go home Bathsheba’s coming too With Jezebel And bring my shoes I’m staying round at oscar’s For at least another eve They said that we could have the keys The trick was just to Twist it A few more times than you Normally would once it gets in the lock You know how it all goes Rock and roll The bars The stars They’re all coming round to ours And our new way of thinking I guess You’d say It’s twisted Twisted like this tale of mine Did I tell you the one about Yves? Maybe it’s best saved for another time When you’re not so Twisted When you straighten up I’ll tell you so You can feel the full effect It's gonna twist you up My g Big time Big people ting One shot of tonic 6 of gin and seven heads on the tap juice Must behead them Bar human Getting sloppy in your not so Say
What is your age Have you clocked on or out yet Paid your debts to the bailiff at the door They was knocking hard saying The bars on the front gate was twisted so they snuck right through Heard they was looking for You For being something that weren’t true At least to their idea of true Said that you slipped through their grip More times than once now fish and chips Is what they’ll make your salmon dance If they can pin you down in france Or grande bretagne or italy Or germany Where'er you be - usa You stay so slick and slippery And serpentine and satanique Slip through time and industry And space so softly sensually It seems they be a spirit See you on the other side Say oui As earrings drip and nose ring bleeds Let's twist this Thing For all to see And ride the beast right out the sea until we all No longer be