What does Yes We Mystic sound like?
An eclectic mix of cinematic and emotionally charged indie rock.
The review of Yes We Mystic – Trust Fall
Yes We Mystic announced their recent album ‘Trust Fall’ as their last one before the band disbands. Whilst selfishly I sincerely hope that isn’t the case and the band could find a way to record music again in the future, ‘Trust Fall’ sees them sign off with aplomb.
The indie rockers specialise in emotionally charged rock that has no issue with layering swathes of instruments and production tweaks into their sound. Sometimes it’s subtly done, such as in the calm electro-acoustic driven ballad ‘High Beams’. Here, we have slinky acoustic guitar riffs, duetting vocals and warm layered synthetic strings bringing emotion to the piano and drums. It’s more overt in the big anthems though. ‘Gap Year’ electrifies the main vocals which become a lightning bolt of power in the choruses. The guitars and synths double up to create a powerful wave of aggressive sound too. Yes We Mystic give their synthetic and guitars equal status, making their music blossom differently with every track.
Elsewhere ‘Long Dream’ reminds me of bands like Duologue and Clock Opera where electronica and dance influences are woven into the mix. Taking big synth runs and arranging them in a rock band setting still hasn’t got old for me and Yes We Mystic are pros at it. ‘Sit Down’ brings in a beautiful string performance and arranges it with clicky percussion to create a stop/start, on/off dramatic flair. It’s only in the understated outro that the strings, drums and guitars and synths reach full flow in a triumphant and emotionally charged finale.
It’s the undercurrent of desperation and clinging to whatever you can to survive that seeps through the album. The lead vocals of Adam Fuhr shine when he shifts from a soothing numbed lilt to outpouring yelps of sorrow or frustration. The whole band tunes into that tonal shift though and ‘Forebear’ is the perfect example of this. We move from soft verses that feel lost and reserved into cataclysmic explosions of sound as X cries ‘Oh my god, what if love is not enough?’. The sudden dawning of this emotional shift is both audible and visceral every single time I listen to it. I cannot help but chant along.
Never a band to shy away from different song structures ‘Dead Bolt’ guests Virgo Rising in a skittish blitzkrieg-lite track. It’s not just structure though, the entire band swaps out for Virgo Rising to feature. The track sounds and feels different to everything else. I also feel it is the only track that doesn’t quite nail the landing perfectly. It spends too long to get going before ending without a payoff. Largely instrumental, the piece is perfectly placed in the album as it conveys a musical descent into a different mental state. That allows the symphonic drama of ‘Night Mode’ to land every punch in its taut orchestral indie sound. I’m reminded a little of Sarah Slean with this track because it’s all about the strings, the drums and the vocals. Obviously, Sarah Slean would bring her piano but that instrument gets its main kicks earlier in this album.
Another thing Yes We Mystic has often leaned into is mental health states. ‘Head Rush’ is a bombastic and dramatic anthem that conveys some kind of manic rush of blood. Every instrument is in full stride here and the choruses are made to be sung loudly. I also view ‘Trap Door’ from the same point too. The vocals speak of reaching clemency and clarity. I take that as giving themselves permission to forgive and move on and the upbeat nature of the song feels cathartic and celebratory. Interestingly, knowing that ‘Sun Room’ is going to be the final track recorded, I wondered how a band would approach that going in. As a fan, I was undoubtedly on tenterhooks wondering too. The answer is they dish out one of their best electro-acoustic cinematic moments. Lyrically, it also deals with the band’s legacy. ‘You hope that it would never change, but everything was always change’ speaks volumes. Past members returned to make this a seven-piece band and various members are doing their own thing too. The multi-media aspect of the band is difficult to do constantly and the outside world is always in flux.
Going out on your own terms is admirable and ‘Trust Fall’ does just that. It was one of my favourite albums of 2022, and Yes We Mystic’s most cohesive work. In years to come we’ll appreciate the complexity of the music, production and artistry all the members gave to the project. A hearty thank you from this listener, who’ll have three amazing albums to treasure.
Recommended track: Forebear
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