Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison, Billy Sherwood, and Jay Schellen, collectively known as Yes, have recently unveiled their latest studio album, “Mirror To The Sky,” released via InsideOutMusic/Sony Music this week. This record holds immense significance for the band, as noted by Steve Howe, the longest-serving member of Yes, a masterful guitarist, and the album’s producer. He states, “This is a very important album for the band. We maintained the continuity we established on ‘The Quest,’ while avoiding repetition. That was our primary objective. Just as Yes did in the seventies, we are growing and moving forward. In recent years, Yes often hit a creative stride but failed to follow it up with subsequent projects. This album is a testament to our growth and rebuilding process.” With “Mirror To The Sky,” Yes presents a collection of high-energy, intricately crafted, lush, and layered new studio songs that not only contribute to the band’s celebrated legacy but also chart a path towards an exciting future.
To celebrate the album’s release, the band has unveiled a captivating video for the closing track, “Circles of Time”.
“Mirror To The Sky” is available in various formats, all featuring the stunning artwork of Roger Dean, a long-time collaborator and artist synonymous with Yes. The options include a limited deluxe electric blue 2LP+2CD+Blu-ray artbook with a poster, a limited deluxe 2CD+Blu-ray artbook, a limited 2CD digipak, a standard CD jewel case, a gatefold 2LP+LP-Booklet, and a digital album. The Blu-ray editions offer the album in Dolby Atmos, 5.1 Surround Sound, instrumental versions, and high-resolution stereo mixes.
During the completion of their previous album, “The Quest,” Yes found themselves with an abundance of song sketches, structures, and ideas that demanded attention. Even before “The Quest” was released, InsideOut boss Thomas Waber extended unwavering support to Yes, urging them to continue their studio work. It was as if he added fuel to their creative fire. Steve Howe explains, “When we had delivered everything, and they were preparing to manufacture the vinyl and other materials, we were still deeply immersed in that creative zone. Thomas’s belief in us meant a great deal.”
Jon Davison emphasizes the band’s strong camaraderie, stating, “We truly get along as people. I feel that everyone’s focused inward, converging toward the core of the highest standards that define Yes. It’s a wonderful thing to witness and in which to take part. I believe this vibrant harmony resonates in the music and reflects the creative input each member willingly contributes, not for personal gain, but for the greater whole that is Yes.”
Billy Sherwood adds, “There was a wealth of material floating around because the band hadn’t been in the studio for so long. Ideas were abundant. The pace was swift. After we completed ‘The Quest’ and its mix was finalized, we took a few short breaks to catch our breath. But the music continued to flow in our minds. We were constantly exploring and working on it. As we were all at home, fully immersed in that mode, things progressed rapidly. We seamlessly transitioned from one album to another without formally announcing, ‘Hey, we’re working on a second record right now.’ We simply continued crafting material. It happened organically, and as the process unfolded, we refined it. But there was a wealth of material from the start!”
Much to everyone’s delight, including longtime fan Thomas Waber, Yes has ventured into the territory they practically pioneered—the realm of prog rock epics—albeit in a fresh and modern manner. Waber expresses his belief that having more epic elements in their music would be great, but he was cautious not to push for something overly formatted or contrived. He simply gave the band the space to do what they do best and allowed things to develop naturally. He states, “They were so excited about ‘The Quest’ and the momentum they had, they went straight back into the studio. Even early on, what they were writing clearly indicated that they were headed in an epic direction—an embodiment of what Yes music truly represents to me. It’s almost a genre in and of itself. It’s ‘Yes Music.’ And ‘Mirror To The Sky’ undoubtedly exemplifies Yes Music.”
“Mirror To The Sky” boasts not one, but four tracks exceeding eight minutes in length, with the grand and cinematic title track clocking in at nearly fourteen minutes. Furthermore, these tracks, reminiscent of Yes’ best work, take listeners on a dynamically diverse journey of soundscapes, featuring the mesmerizing guitar work of Steve Howe, the angelic and crystalline vocals of Jon Davison, the skillful and agile bass playing of Billy Sherwood, the impeccable sounds and exquisite melodies of keyboard virtuoso Geoff Downes, and the masterfully controlled drumming explosions by Jay Schellen.
Jay Schellen, who has been touring with the band since 2016, was personally chosen to fill the role of his mentor and friend, Alan White, following White’s untimely passing in 2022. Jay shares, “I performed the 2016 Topographic Drama tour on behalf of Alan. From late 2017 onwards, we formed a beautiful partnership, and I learned so much about Alan’s style. His passion and creativity were extraordinary.”
Jay feels that the album perfectly aligns with Alan’s personality, stating, “It suits him perfectly. Alan’s presence is all over this album. It resides within us. So, in my heart, Alan is still here, present and with us, and he is with me in a significant way.”
YES recently announced UK dates for The Classic Tales of Yes Tour 2024, they are:
Thursday 23 May – Manchester – Bridgewater Hall*
Friday 24 May – Glasgow – Royal Concert Hall*
Sunday 26 May – Liverpool – Philharmonic Hall*
Tuesday 28 May – York – Barbican*
Wednesday 29 May – Southend – Cliffs Pavilion*
Friday 31May – Bristol – Beacon
Saturday 1 June – Birmingham – Symphony Hall*
Sunday 2 June – Gateshead – The Sage*
Tuesday 4 June – London – Royal Albert Hall
*Show rescheduled from 2023, all tickets remain valid.
Go here for further information.