‘Safe in the Hands of Love’: A gateway into avant-garde pop music



The fantasy of navigating an alien world often relies on an unspoken protection of the navigator. The new, mysterious places crafted in fantasy narratives should be dangerous by default.

Often, they are inhabited by species that must be befriended or defeated to ensure safety. The fact that a character not only survives but thrives in new environment where the odds are stacked against them is perhaps the most fantastic element of most fantasy pieces. It’s no wonder our favorite fantasy protagonists are armed with magical powers, unfulfilled destinies, and powerful friends.

The feeling of safety in the unknown radiates throughout Yves Tumor’s brilliant new record, “Safe in the Hands of Love.” Fit for soundtracking an Atlantean art gallery, Tumor’s unique brand of trip-hop lurches from banshee-like peals of harsh noise and sea-soaked jazz guitar. A protection spell of warm, gritty texture and melodic reverb envelopes even the record’s most challenging moments.

The balance here is exquisite. If you’ve always wanted to enter the realm of experimental music but find most of its records grating, ugly, or boring, you’re likely to find an in here. The record’s poppiest, most straightforward cuts, “Noid” and “Lifetime,” resemble alt-radio tracks while maintaining the weirdness that sets Yves Tumor apart.

There’s no doubt that “Safe in the Hands of Love” is still a challenging record — especially in its back half. “Hope in Suffering” showcases a ghoulish spoken-word sample amidst cacophony, and closer “Let the Lioness In You Flow Freely” hurtles the listener through chaotic noise rock.

Yet if you give yourself the time and patience to crack through the record’s harsher sections, an enchanting melodic core glows through the shell. “Safe in the Hands of Love” is a gateway into the bizarre and wonderful world of avant-garde pop music. It’s a journey magnificently suited for listeners both familiar with and hesitant towards exploring the artistic unknown.


Rating: 4.7/5