Music Review – Yes We Mystic

Band: Yes We Mystic
Album: Forgiver

Rules are made to be broken. At least, that seems to be the motto of Winnipeg’s orchestral rock group, Yes We Mystic,’ while composing their latest album Forgiver. Full of genre-busting and rule-breaking musical compositions and melodies, the tunes on Forgiver are unique, imaginative, and beautifully odd.

Formed in 2011, musicians Adam Fuhr, Keegan Steele, Jodi Plenert , Jordon Ottenson, and Eric Ross came together to create Yes We Mystic. Their latest album, Forgiver, was released April 29th and has been met with a great deal of praise. Laura Stanley of Exclaim! writes that “Forgiver an utterly enthralling listen.” And the single from the album “Undertow” secured 29th place on CBC Radio-3’s top 30 songs for the week of July 18. Recorded in just three weeks with “legendary Canadian producer Jace Lasek” (http://yeswemystic.com/about/), the songs on Forgiver bring to mind a mash-up between Elbow and Coldplay. All of the arrangements were compiled by the band members, with the exception of “Monument”, which includes a string arrangement by Mamoru Kobayakawa.

The melodies are melodramatic with a gradual build to an inevitable climax that explodes with an air of elaborate grandeur. The album’s overall theme, forgiveness, is intensified by the intricate interplay between orchestral instruments, conventional vocals, and boundary busting arrangements. Each song features several layers of sounds, which means that, at times, the music deviates from the normal and can become confusing. However, amidst the chaos, there is a subtle beauty, an elusive elegance that Yes We Mystic was able to tap into. Given the album’s theme of forgiveness, a convoluted phenomenon of everyday life, this mixing of tones, harmonies, and melodies is a perfect fit.

But the album is not totally melancholy, focusing solely on the struggles of forgiveness. Thanks to the poetic lyrics, lulling vocals, and soothing tones, there are also feelings of hope, renewal, and redemption woven deeply into each song. “Working for the Future in the Interlake” is especially uplifting with its slow crescendo and uplifting notes. “Born Into Language” is hypnotizing with its piano trill intro. Like watching birds fly across a rising sun as it peeks over the trees, there is a sense of wonder, beauty, and peace woven into the depths of the track.

Yes We Mystic seems to have wrapped up their touring for the summer, so keep an eye on their website for any upcoming dates. But, thankfully, Forgiver is widely available for purchase, which is great for listening to while reading, studying, or just simply relaxing.

Samantha currently uses her skills as a writer to promote independent musicians and raise awareness and support for many global, environmental, and humanitarian issues. Check out her website and blog at: http://sstevenswriter.wix.com/writer

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