Yes We Mystic, Squanto and Royal Oak
Where: Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club
109 7 Avenue S.W Calgary
18+ with government issued identification
When: Friday August 10th, 2018
Admission: $10.00 Advance Available at https://slothrecords.wordpress.com/ or www.myshowpass.com
Yes We Mystic
At a time when bands are stripping to the bare essentials, shedding instruments and members in favour of pre-recorded tracks, Yes We Mystic remains committed, in all senses, to excess. Their maximalist live show packs stages with equipment; their rich, knotted orchestration seem to indulge their every instrumental whim; and their album releases resemble large scale performance art projects. The trick, if it is to be defined, is to set an expectation, and then defy it; the band takes ideas and sounds from all over the musical spectrum and filters them into something that is exhilarating, heartrending, pummelling, and grand. Perhaps elsewhere the anthemic has had it’s day; here, however, it is bent and distorted beyond recognition into something–dare we say–fresh.
Praised as “art pop transformers”, and charged with a “fearless creative energy”, Yes We Mystic has in recent years become a steadily growing force on the Canadian indie scene. 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 matured into this sound with the release of their 2016 debut album Forgiver, recorded with legendary Canadian producer Jace Lasek (Patrick Watson, Wolf Parade, Land Of Talk). The album was met with acclaim in both Germany (where the album was released on DanCan records) and Canada. To support Forgiver, they played over 100 shows in 10 countries, appearing at NXNE, SXSW, The Great Escape, Reeperbahn, and Orange Blossom Special (itself a career highlight). The success of their first album led to their recent signing to DevilDuck Records worldwide.
"Influenced by 80’s disco and synth pop, while still juggling a large helping of jazz and blues, there’s a blithe bounce and wirey synth quality to the songs that drive them along. But through it all, it’s clear the roots that anchor it are soulful and full. This project comes together with such a rosy glow that it’s easy to see where Squanto got the namesake for their first album, Rose Gold." -Willow Grier, BeatRoute AB/Imveryape.com
Squanto began as a solo project for Bobby Henderson (Vocals, Guitar). Initially recruiting Wil Moralda (Keyboards) as a producer for Henderson's debut album "Rose Gold" (Oct 2016) the relationship grew into a collaborative songwriting effort. To perform live, Henderson and Moralda recruited friends Connor Mead (Drums), Tyler Shields (Bass), and Graeme Rice (Guitar). The group now writes together and has released 2 digital singles in 2017 "Morning/Assumptions" in May and "Rainmaker/Salt" in December.
After beginning the year by performing Calgary music festival, BIG Winter Classic, Squanto continues to record with plans to release an album in Summer of 2018.
The band is really built on the years before its conception, long before anyone even played instruments. There are over 15 years of chemistry and teamwork at the heart of the group, and it shows up in the music. A band that grew together, and continues to grow together. As early as 2009, Austin, Brayson and Myles were making music together. They did the local grind, playing city events and small halls around town, slowly making a name for themselves.
Around 2014 came a real identity with a new name, and a change of lineup. James Armstrong joined the band, and when he did, the sound changed forever. In came heavy layers of reverb, thick textures, and the cinematic ambience that have come to define Royal Oak’s sound. Their self titled first record was released New Years Day of 2015 with a good deal of local success.
“...you have a band that just set the bar pretty high for what they have to prove.” - Red On Black Music
The next two years saw the band playing various shows, including gigs with Canadian indie heroes like Hey Ocean!, and touring heavyweights Hawking and Ivory Hours. Meanwhile, in late 2015, James left the band to pursue other projects, and Michael stepped in to the second guitar position.
With adding another singer came another shift in sound, leading to a more vocal-heavy songwriting approach, which is evident in their upcoming record, slated for release in the Spring of 2017. With big ambitions becoming a bigger reality in the coming months, Royal Oak is looking to a bright future.
“I can’t even imagine how good they’re gonna get.”–Permanent Rain Press
*This event takes place on the territory of the Blackfoot and the people of Treaty 7 Region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Siksika, the Piikuni, the Kainai, the Tsuu T'ina and the Stoney Nakoda First Nations. Calgary is also home to the Metis Nation of Alberta, Region III.