YES Unveils “Circles of Time” Video Today; New Studio Album ‘Mirror To The Sky’ Out Now
DATE: MAY 24, 2023
FROM: MITCH SCHNEIDER/ANDREA FAULK, SRO PR
NEW STUDIO ALBUM,
THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED
‘MIRROR TO THE SKY,’
“CIRCLES OF TIME”
From left: Jay Schellen, Steve Howe, Billy Sherwood, Jon Davison, Geoff Downes
Photo Credit: Gottlieb Bros.
YES, who are Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison, Billy Sherwood and Jay Schellen, last week (May 19) released their new studio album MIRROR TO THE SKY to glowing reviews on InsideOutMusic/Sony Music and today (May 24) have unveiled an eye-catching animated lyric video for the album’s evocative closing track “Circles of Time.” Watch it HERE.
Ultimate Classic Rock raved that “Mirror in the Sky breezes from one musical highlight to the next so deftly that you’re wanting more.” (May 17). Glide Magazine observed that “Mirror to the Sky” succeeds at proving the idea that Yes music will carry on long after the original members pass in a very special way. As the producer of this twenty-third studio album, [Steve] Howe has stepped in and helped create a soundscape in the vein of their classic material.” (May 18). Guitar World noted that “There’s a lot of classic prog keyboard and guitar interplay across “Cut From The Stars,’ but there’s lovely stuff from about 4.30 where Steve Howe and Geoff Downes exchange melodic pot shots.” (3/16).
Elsewhere, Vintage Rock singled out “Circles of Time,” noting how it “comprises a sweet vocal, acoustic guitar, and spare keys, reminiscent of the softer side of what Yes has always been about” (May 18). Rock Cellar summed up the album by writing that “Mirror to the Sky finds Yes at its most inspired and fleshed-out, the musicians totally confident in their collective artistic vision—one that takes typically unexpected shifts in tempo, structure and form, sometimes eschewing them altogether in search of something deeper and undeniably epic.” (May 19).
“This is a very important album for the band,” says Steve Howe, YES’ longest serving member, master guitarist, and producer of MIRROR TO THE SKY. “We kept the continuity in the approach we established on The Quest, but we haven’t repeated ourselves. That was the main thing. As Yes did in the seventies from one album to another, we’re growing and moving forward. In later years, Yes often got going but then didn’t do the next thing. This album is demonstrative of us growing, and building again.”
For YES, that “next thing” is a collection of high energy, intricate, lush and layered new studio songs for an album which adds to the band’s much heralded legacy, while charting a path to exciting future times ahead.
Watch the previously released video for “All Connected” HERE and the one for “Cut From The Stars,” the album’s first single, HERE.
MIRROR TO THE SKY is available on several formats, all featuring artwork by long-time YES artist & collaborator Roger Dean:
Ltd Deluxe Electric Blue 2LP+2CD+Blu-ray Artbook with poster
Ltd Deluxe 2CD+Blu-ray Artbook
Ltd 2CD Digipak
Standard CD Jewel case
The blu-ray editions include the album as Dolby Atmos, 5.1 Surround Sound, Instrumental Versions & Hi-Res Stereo Mixes.
Order now here: https://Yes-Band.lnk.to/MirrorToTheSky
The tracklisting is as follows:
- Cut From The Stars 05:27
- All Connected 09:02
- Luminosity 09:04
- Living Out Their Dream 04:45
- Mirror to the Sky 13:53
- Circles of Time 04:59
- Unknown Place 08:15
- One Second Is Enough 04:04
- Magic Potion 04:08
As they were wrapping up The Quest, Yes found themselves with song sketches, structures, and ideas that were demanding attention. Yes received unconditional support from InsideOut boss Thomas Waber, who encouraged them to keep going in the studio, months before The Quest would even go on sale. It was like throwing gasoline on their creative fire.
“When we delivered everything, and they were just getting the vinyl and everything into production for manufacturing, we were still very much in that creative zone,” explains Steve Howe. “That belief that Thomas had in us really meant a lot,” he says.
“We truly get along as people,” says Jon Davison. “I feel like everyone’s focused inward to the greater circle, concentric to the core of highest standards that define Yes. It’s a wonderful thing to witness and of which to play a part. I believe this reflects vibrantly in the music and the creative input that each one is willing to apply, not for the benefit of the individual, but for the greater whole that is Yes.”
“There was a lot of material floating around because the band hadn’t done anything in the studio for so long. Ideas were just copious,” says bassist Billy Sherwood. “The pace of it was fast. As soon as we were finished with The Quest, and the mix had come out, we took a couple of little breaks there to catch our breath. But there was still music flowing around in the loop. It was just constantly being looked at and worked on. As we were all home and in that mode, things started progressing quite swiftly. We just went one album into another without really announcing, ‘Hey, we’re working on a second record right now.’ We just continued to work on material. It came about pretty naturally, and then we refined it as the process went on. But the initial bursts — there was a lot of material around!”
Much to everyone’s delight, including that of longtime-fan Thomas Waber, Yes have pushed into territory they practically invented — the prog rock epic — albeit in a thoroughly new and modern way. “I always felt that it would be great to have stuff that’s a little bit more epic,” he says, although he resisted the temptation to push for something that would be too formatted and could come off as contrived. He just gave the band space to do what they do and let things develop. “They were so excited by The Quest and the momentum they had that they went straight back in to the studio. What they were writing, even early on, was obviously headed in that epic direction — what Yes music really is to me. It is almost a genre onto itself. It is ‘Yes Music.’ Mirror To The Sky certainly is Yes Music.”
MIRROR TO THE SKY features not one, but four tracks clocking in at over eight minutes, with the sweeping and cinematic title track coming in just shy of fourteen minutes. What’s more, the tracks, like Yes’ best, take the listener on a wide dynamically ranging journey of soundscapes which also showcase Steve Howe’s dazzling guitars, Jon Davison’s angelic, crystalline vocals, Billy Sherwood’s deftly dancing bass, keyboard wizard Geoff Downes’ impeccable sounds, exquisite melodies and fills, and Jay Schellen’s masterfully controlled explosions, on drums.
Jay Schellen, who has been touring with the band since 2016, was hand-picked to step into his mentor and friend Alan White’s role when White sadly passed away in 2022. “I had done the 2016 Topographic Drama tour on my own for Alan,” says Jay. “From late 2017 onwards, we had a beautiful partnership, I learned and discovered so much about Alan’s style. His passion and creativity was phenomenal.“It fit his personality so perfectly. This album has Alan’s presence all over it. It is inside of us. So this is still, in my heart, Alan just being present and with us, and with me, in a big way.”
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