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  • Youmna El Halabi

Yves Tumor: Jackie — a tragic, obsessive love for the ages

If Harry Styles’ “Adore You” and Marilyn Manson’s cover of “Sweet Dreams” made love, they would birth Yves Tumor’s newest single, “Jackie.”

(Yves Tumor identifies as non-binary, and therefore the pronouns used in this article while referring to the artist will be they/them/their)

Sean Bowie, professionally known as Yves Tumor, has been making music since they were 16. Born in a conservative environment in Knoxville, Tennessee, Tumor’s solace was music. They taught themselves how to play the keyboard, drums, bass as well as guitar. Their main musical influences involved the legendary Jimi Hendrix, the tempestuous Nirvana, and post-punk experimental English band Throbbing Gristle. Tumor themselves said, “There's something about their music, like the hypnotic trance vibes, that really influenced me.”

At the age of 20, Tumor moved to San Diego for college and once that was completed, left to set up camp in Los Angeles; and in 2012, they met renowned rapper Mikki Bianca and went on to tour for two and a half years all around Europe and Asia.

The 2010s were quite the start-up period for Tumor, as they began sharing their art with the world. Early on, they were recording music under the name “Teams,” and had a sound online music magazine AllMusic described as “post-chillwave.” Chillwave is a type of music emerging in the early 2000s, evocative of the early 80s pop, with a psychedelic, nostalgic feel to it.

Tumor’s first EP was in 2015, the “Yves Tumor Project,” later followed that same year by his first LP titled When Man Fails You. It was released again in 2016 with the label Apothecary Compositions.

After moving to Leipzig, Germany around the year 2013, Tumor worked on an album for three years; an album that was released in 2016 as Serpent Music, a label debut with PAN.

In September 2017, a year after their PAN debut album, Tumor released a free compilation record titled Experiencing the Deposit of Faith. They then surprised the world by simultaneously signing with Warp Records and embarking on an audiovisual tour.

Tumor put out into the world a myriad of hypnotizing music, from their 2018 singles like “Noid,” “Licking an Orchid” ft. James K, and Lifetime to their 2020 collaboration with cellist Kelsey Lu on “let all the poisons that lurk in the mud seep out.”

And on June 15, they once again lured the crowd in with an outstanding new single, “Jackie.”

A truly haunting song, and the music video truly does it justice.

Hues of blue and red cover the artist and a guitarist, as they seem to be stranded in the middle of a sinister forest, finding their way to each other. Tumor is mesmerizing as they sing the chilling lyrics about an obsessive love that has run its course:

“Old flame

We were torn apart right by the sleeve, oh, baby

Old flame

We were torn apart right by the sleeve, oh, baby

I said 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?”

The song is, much like Tumor’s music has been from the beginning, unsettling but consuming. The listener is left with a lump in their throat, pondering whether what they are feeling is discomfort, understanding, or awe. Truth be told, it could be a mix of all of those.

The song’s synthetic rock beats draw you on, the electric guitar takes you on a trip as you listen to Tumor pour out their soul to Jackie, who has claimed their heart and has not given it back.


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