At the end of the 1990s, a new genre emerged as the long Britpop tail reached its lowest point. Bands like My Vitriol, with their sharp guitar sound and impressive songwriting, shaped what was briefly (and ironically, for the most part) called “nu-gaze”, creating a unique and never-heard-before soundscape shaking up the stale panorama.
Nu-gaze is a peculiar starting point, but it is exactly where Yves Tumor places themselves with new six-track EP The Asymptotical World. A serpent-like artist, constantly changing their skin, Tumor and longtime collaborator Yves Rothman move forward from the soul-inflected sound that informed their previous release, this time seducing listeners and thrusting them out into a parallel reality.
In this new, disquieting place, we hear a creature sing to a supposedly significant other, but it’s hard to tell if their words are sweet or menacing: “Hey, little Jackie / When you wake up / Do you think of me? / I said hey, Jackie, baby / When you rest your mind / Do you think of me?” Is it a love-wish or writing on the wall for something more sinister?
Tumor’s vocal and delivery are so on point, the sound so intense it tears the skin, that it’s impossible not to wish of being the addressee of their verses. As ‘Secrecy Is Incredibly Important to the Both of Them’ knee-dips into hypnagogic pop, it takes the record into a Prince-meets-Ariel-Pink scenario, giving rise to the following ‘Tuck’, featuring NAKED, which reaches the peak of this eerie climax.
Literally, “asymptotical” means “not falling together” or “intersecting at infinity”. And it’s a world forever moving away from our reality the one Yves Tumor builds in this EP. It feels inevitable that we’ll forever try to reach, touch – or escape it.
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