For Jared Adams, art is a source of relief, a balm for personal and collective ails. Since youth – theatre study, strings of bands, an ongoing 10-year stint in alt-rock quartet Colour By Numbers – Adams has used creative expression to explore inner and outer worlds, and on his upcoming sophomore long-player, Mystic Humanism, he lets his muses lead the way.
The Winnipeg singer-songwriter’s solo work developed for years in quiet until 2019 when an opportunity to play at the iconic Winnipeg Fringe Festival instigated the need for a band. This performance led Adams to eventually record his debut album, 2020’s Tragic Nostalgia, at Winnipeg’s Private Ear Recording with John Paul Peters (Propagandhi, Royal Canoe, Yes We Mystic), where he amassed a full band sound around his sophisticated “heavy folk” songs. This eclectic collection was constructed to be easily translated into stripped-down acoustic sets where the songcraft would shine. But for Mystic Humanism, he let instincts roam, adventuring through the potent potential that comes with letting things fly.
After years spent crafting structures to fit a 4-pc rock band, Adams let the song arrangements on Mystic Humanism follow their natural course, drawing inspiration from distinct veins of early 2000s alt-rock like Radiohead and The Postal Service. Adams took his time over the pandemic’s long wait, tweaking and perfecting, getting acquainted with synths and drum machines while experimenting with different approaches and techniques, imbuing his hook-filled tunes with baroque and indietronica flavouring.
Colour By Numbers dubbed itself the “nerdiest rock band,” a trait that Adams weaved into Tragic Nostalgia’s folkier DNA that emerges again in new forms on Mystic Humanism. Where Tragic Nostalgia was a more introspective reflection on self and inner struggles, Mystic Humanism is a loose concept album presenting Adams’ hot takes on the now: politics, the metaverse, AI’s imminent takeover, earth’s unsteadying balance, all underpinned with messages entwined with a search for compassion and understanding, urging the importance of taking a step back, a closer look, and reassessing, even when it’s hard.
Adams was chosen to participate in the 2021 RBC Emerging Artist Mentorship and Showcase program and will use 2023 performances to build momentum and interest for Mystic Humanism’s early 2024 release and subsequent live appearances, setting the stage for big things to come.