FFO: Andrew Belle, The Wooden Sky, cinematic folk-pop
(Taken from Yes We Mystic’s official website)
Delivering at times like a dive into a dark, warm ocean, and at others like a blast of icy water on bare skin, Yes We Mystic is a dynamic and emotional musical powerhouse originating out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Approaching genre as a tool rather than a barrier, the band takes instruments, ideas, and sounds from wherever they can to craft something that is all at once exhilarating, heartrending, pummelling, and grand. Hurling rock together with folk, hip-hop, and R&B, strings and mandolins together with synthesizers, pedals, samples, and vocal effects, they come up with songs that can mellow and groove but climb in an instant to towering, frenzied heights. Throwing opposites together has been a practice that they keep coming back to. The result is both unconventional and weirdly relatable.
Yes We Mystic was born of necessity. After the harsh breakup of their high school band, front men Adam Fuhr and Keegan Steele picked up and started again; stole a name off a bus bench and began writing folk songs. These songs, born in bedrooms and basements, eventually became 2013’s Floods and Fires, an EP hailed by BeatRoute as a “complexly orchestrated masterpiece”. Cramming a full band into Adam’s parents van, they played those songs for two years at festivals and venues across Canada including performances at NXNE, M for Montreal, and Breakout West, sharing the stage with Dan Mangan.
But then, as it always does, came change. The long time members packed it in and moved away. Tastes shifted. New members brought new ideas and new strengths. From this sprung stranger and bolder music; music that has captured audiences across the country while slowly overtaking the folk of Floods and Fires in live sets; music that brought one Toronto audience member, in between songs on a sweaty November evening, to loudly proclaim “This is the best band I’ve ever heard to come out of Winnipeg. Period”.
If you had to put a finger on it, perhaps the best descriptor for the band’s sound is “intense, cinematic art pop”. The band took a bold step toward this new direction in their 2015 two-song 7” ‘Vestige’, a change from their folkier 2013 debut. It’s not often that a short EP from a young band stirs up as much excitement as Vestige did. The release, though just a tiny sampling of what was to come, was met with acclaim from all across the country.
Yes We Mystic works constantly at building and then defying expectations. Their new record, Forgiver, is sure to do just that. Forgiver was recorded over the course of three weeks in June 2015 with legendary Canadian producer Jace Lasek (Patrick Watson, Wolf Parade, Land of Talk). The album acts as their sonic ‘Rosetta Stone’, laying out everything that the band has picked up along the way, as well as the innovative approach to songwriting that they have held with them since those bedroom songs. With its lush, atmospheric guitar tones, delicately woven melodies, explosive drums, and aching lyrics, Forgiver is a howling wind coming from a place of irrefutable honesty.