Yves Tumor (Yves Tumor) - All about the musician: a complete biography

“It’s nice to act like one, to look like one,” he said. “This is the personality... Only a self-sufficient personality can set the crowd on fire, even if it is a terrible sight...”

The history of Yves Tumor (Yves Tumor): the beginning of a career, albums, interesting facts ...

Sean Bowie, better known by his pseudonym Yves Tumor, is an American experimental electronic music producer and musician. And this is not the kind of music that will light up the Thompson-Boling Arena, where cowboy hat lovers and local beer lovers flock in droves ... No. Yves Tumor is a far cry from what East Tennessee is used to seeing...

“I do get a lot of strange attention in my direction…,” Yves Tumor once said, discussing the image of a rock star that he plays. “Sometimes it’s hard to draw a line here…”

Getting started

Yves Tumor (Yves Tumor).
Yves Tumor (Yves Tumor).

As an artist committed to mysticism, Bowie reveals little about his childhood and upbringing... He was born in Miami and grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. At the age of 16, Sean learned to play the guitar: at first, he performed famous songs from bands such as Nirvana and Green Day. The guy saw music as a way out of the "dull conservative environment."

After Bowie's parents confiscated his instrument due to poor school performance, the young musician learned the keys on the family piano, honed his sense of rhythm (which, incidentally, came from the influence of Motown Records and Jimi Hendrix), and began to make amateur recordings in basement. A little later, Sean would describe his experience growing up in Tennessee as "unpleasant". Perhaps, hence there is so little information about this period ...

At 20, Sean moved to San Diego. After a brief college stint, Bowie moved to Los Angeles where he met queer punk rapper Mykki Blanco. Together they went on tour...

Bowie soon began releasing music under various names. Of all, the pseudonym Yves Tumor has taken root. The early music, in which field recordings were collected, harsh noise and streamlined funk, attracted a devoted audience ... Yves Tumor's live performances soon became a legend!

Yves Tumor
Yves Tumor

“I could easily find the biggest guy in the crowd and use him as a prop,” Bowie said. “I jumped on him, hung my legs from his neck ...”

Career: Where did it all start?

In early 2010, Yves Tumor used the Teams name. He created music that AllMusic described as "post-chillwave".

The artist's debut with the Yves Tumor project happened only in 2015, with an EP for the Berlin-based experimental club label Janus. In the same year, the full length "When Man Fails You" was released, which quickly attracted the attention of a wide audience.

New contracts and new successes

Yves Tumor...
Yves Tumor…

In the fall of 2016, Yves Tumor signed a recording contract with PAN Records. This was followed by the album "Serpent Music". According to Yves himself, he worked on it for more than three years ... They recorded the disc in different parts of the world: from Miami and Los Angeles to Leipzig and Berlin! One Pitchfork critic described "Serpent Music" as follows:

“The use of disturbing percussive loops and field recordings create the mood of being lost in an unfamiliar cityscape…”

In 2017, Yves Tumor released a compilation entitled "Experiencing the Deposit of Faith". Soon a contract was signed with Warp Records, after which the artist went on tour with a new audiovisual show.

The album "Warp Safe in the Hands of Love" followed in the fall of 2018. There was no advance announcement. Except for the singles "Noid", "Licking an Orchid" and "Lifetime". The release was warmly received by critics ... Shortly after the release, a note appeared in Pitchfork:

“This album is several orders of magnitude higher than the rest of Yves Tumor's work. The jump turned out to be so audacious that it is disorienting!”

On the success of "Heaven to a Tortured Mind"

Heaven To A Tortured Mind Album Cover (2020)
Heaven To A Tortured Mind Album Cover (2020)

When working on albums, artists often deviate from a particular genre in an attempt to try something new. Sometimes pop becomes rock and sometimes country becomes rap. But that's not the case with Yves Tumor, who has an innate ability to stay true to himself. The artist has always managed to successfully combine seemingly contradictory musical styles... However, the fact that the new album sounds more poppy does not mean that Yves Tumor has changed.

Yves Tumor's fourth album, with the mesmerizing title "Heaven to a Tortured Mind", was released on April 3, 2020. Shortly before that, namely on March 3 of the same year, it was preceded by the single "Kerosene" featuring Diana Gordon.

The reviewing critic from The Guardian solemnly dubbed the release "Album of the Week", describing it as "extraordinary and experimental, suitable for any genre, with an internal logic that influences the change of mood!"

"It's a buffet of sonnets and emotions," said Bowie himself.

And indeed: "Heaven to a Tortured Mind" deserves special attention, if only because the lyrics that preceded it were often about the end of time and about love, as the most frightening thing on the agenda ...

"It's scary," Bowie said. "It's like riding a rollercoaster: you know there's going to be a huge downturn, and then there's going to be an upswing!"

One way or another, everyone should listen to “Heaven to a Tortured Mind” at least once…

Interesting Facts…

Yves Tumor (Yves Tumor)...
Yves Tumor (Yves Tumor) ...

Yves Tumor believes that his gender or sexuality should not determine his art:

“I really like to hint at how I express myself, rather than making my gender, my sexuality, or my feelings about equality my personal brand…”

“Watching Yves Tumor take the stage is like being beaten by a howling cyberpunk villain, but filtering the recorded result and experiencing a kaleidoscopic marriage of classic songwriting and robotic sonic experimentation,” reads the description that accompanies the show ticket links. Yves Tumor!

Bowie once said:

“There is something in the music of Throbbing Gristle that is… For example, the vibrations of a hypnotic trance. And they really influenced me…”

Yves Tumor
Yves Tumor

Once, during a performance in Texas, a fan jumped on Yves and ... bit him on the neck! Later, the artist shared his impressions:

"He bit me on the neck!" the musician said. “I signed his album after the show and thought: “Why did you bite me? There is a pandemic…” And he said he just wanted to know what my taste is!”

Although Yves Tumor's production methods and sonic aesthetic have undergone several changes, Bowie has remained committed to the visual shock! So, for example, in the video for the song “Gospel for a New Century”, horns and fluffy paws make the artist appear in the image of Pan, the Greek god of the wild and the pagan symbol of male power…

"Yves Tumor is the rock star of our generation," said Jordan Hemingway, photographer and filmmaker behind the album's artwork.


Yves Tumor is more than just an artist. It's an ambitious, deeply emotional statement in an all too often insipid musical world... The album images are shocking, while the live shows can be dark and invigorating... The project's music videos are filled with libido and ambiguous metaphors in equal measure. And Bowie knows that the term "rock star" has now become anachronistic, even cheesy:

“It’s nice to act like one, to look like one,” he said. “This is the personality… Only a self-sufficient personality can set the crowd on fire, even if it is a terrible sight…”


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