The mystique lives on

Yes We Mystic launches third and decidedly final album

Local art-rock stalwarts Yes We Mystic are calling it quits with their final album, Trust Fall, which they’re promoting with a bizarre surrealist toll-free hotline.(Supplied photo-Ally Gonzalo)

In a music industry preoccupied with self-perpetuation, Yes We Mystic bucks the trend with decisive finality. Trust Fall, their third full-length project, launches next month. Then the group will simply cease to exist.

“When we began work on it, we really weren’t sure what our future looked like. We were at a tough point, and we found ourselves drifting apart with different focuses in each of our lives,” frontman and producer Adam Fuhr says.

From their inception woodshedding in basements as a high-school band to touring internationally, the Winnipeg act has come a long way in their decade of existence. Citing irreconcilable scheduling conflicts and divergent career paths, the band made the tough decision to call it quits after one last effort.

With the end in sight, the indie-pop quintet was determined to end on a high note. They divorced from many of the distractions an album release typically begets: extensive touring, social-media promotion and looming deadlines.

“That was where the idea of this ‘trust fall’ came from. We had to take a leap of faith on this record to make it happen, and we had to commit ourselves without knowing exactly what the end result would be,” Fuhr says.

Violinist Jensen Fridfinnson also stresses the purity of the music this time around.

“We wanted to strip it back a little bit and go back to basics for more of a pure sound while still having some very different elements and having ... what I see as a classic Yes We Mystic sound,” Fridfinnson says.

To accompany the new record, Yes We Mystic launched the “Trust Fall Hotline,” a surrealist choose-your-own-adventure art piece.

“During the pandemic, we spent a lot of time on hold with the bank and with the (Canada Revenue Agency), and turning that type of experience into something surreal and something meaningful when it felt so cold and useless was something intriguing to us,” Fuhr says.

The uncanny nature of the piece plays into the LP’s themes of trust and blind faith.

“We really wanted the art piece that accompanied it to get people to take a chance on something that has no obvious return or reward,” Fridfinnson says.

The band is no stranger to performance-art antics. For promotion of their last album released in 2019, Ten Seated Figures, the band had actors impersonate them in interviews and at live shows.

Unable to host one last live concert, the ensemble hopes to satisfy fans with Showroom, a concert short film reuniting Yes We Mystic with ex-members Solana Johannson and Eric Ross. The film will have a one-time showing on Oct. 17 at Cinematheque before being distributed online.

“It’s an iteration of the band that has never been seen before. We were never on the same timeline with each other, so it was really nice to get all together,” Fridfinnson says.

For the members of Yes We Mystic, parting is a bittersweet sorrow. Given the nature of performance artists and their adamance about their finality, it begs the question: how can we trust them?

“I guess you kind of can’t,” Fridfinnson says.

Trust Fall releases Oct. 21 on vinyl and streaming services. Supposedly, Yes We Mystic disbands Oct. 22. Call the Trust Fall Hotline at 1 (877) 347-5231 to question your own reality toll-free.

Published in Volume 77, Number 03 of The Uniter (September 22, 2022)

Related Reads