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Yoke Lore: Poetic Chaos of the Imagination, Working with Great Good Fine Ok, & Including Himself in His Music

By: Ezzah Rafique | February 13, 2021

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Photo of Adrian Galvin (Yoke Lore) by Wes and Alex (@wesandalex)

Performing under Yoke Lore, Adrian Galvin knows how to convey emotion through his folk-pop beats. While chatting with ORENDA MEDIA, Galvin dives into helping people overcome their monsters, the direction of his music, & including himself in his music.


Check out the interview below...

Your song 'Beige' is one of your most streamed songs off of your EP, Goodpain. What was your initial reaction to the feedback that this song has been receiving and what was your thought process when creating the song?

“Beige” is a real gruesome look at love. It’s a terrifying prospect to give yourself completely to someone. It’s dangerous and goes against our instinct for self-preservation, which is what makes love so magical and esoteric. It is unnatural in a way. I think almost everyone feels this pull toward a mystical side of themselves that promises to disarm their protections and expose their vulnerabilities to the world, but at the same time, I think we all tend to avoid it in our own ways. It’s a tension that goes unarticulated too often and one I think that all people can immediately identify with. It’s nice to be given words to emotions that are too personal and difficult to lasso with such a fickle language as ours! I got lucky and threw my lasso at just the right time, and now I hope to help people name their struggles, identify their monsters, so they can begin to understand and overcome them. 

How would you describe your creative process: Is there anything you've done differently this time around?

I'm not sure how to describe my creative process. Naming it a process denotes a certain amount of controlled and systematic procedures of which my process has none. So I would be more comfortable calling it a dance or a conversation. It's an allowance of things. It's a direction to dive in. It’s a supplication to the poetic chaos of the imagination. I think most of all it’s about being a sponge for any information that’s given to you. I could just as easily make tables or ride my bike with that information. But I make songs. 

To anyone who hasn't heard your music before, is there a setting you can describe that would match with the tone or mood of your songs?

I think all art should be consumed with a degree of freedom. That’s why museums feel so clinical and frigid. Art is meant to be experienced, not viewed. I don’t mean that in the literal sense but I think you get it. Go outside maybe, or listen to it as you fall from a great height. 

I've read about how you grew up listening to classic rock with your parents, do you think there's a specific band or artist you listened to while growing up that have influenced your style?

I have made it my purpose to ensure that I am compelled by them all. I try to wring meaning from everything I listen to and I found caches of treasure on the songs of Simon and Garfunkel and Carole King and Styx and The Moody Blues but no more than I got listening to Sondheim or Bad Brains or watching cartoons. I would say my music was equally affected by watching Arthur and listening to The Rolling Stones.

Your new collaboration song 'You Don't Look at Me the Same' with Great Good Fine Ok that came out mid-January [SO GOOD], how was working on a collaboration like this (and 'Sensitive Heart' with Jax Anderson) during Covid & was there anything different for you about the process?

Yes my gosh, the process is very different. There can be no physical contact made, which is a big part of my making process. Not that I’m like hugging my co-writers the entire time but I think sharing air and space and energy is a vital part of a creative collaboration. When I worked with Jax it was wonderful to be in her city, with her family, writing songs about feeling heavily. The fact that we were forced to kind of deal with each other in real life added to the integrity of the music. Working with GGFOK was different. I think the truth of that song lies in its mundane universality. I didn’t need to know them to know exactly what the song was about and why it was written. We were dealing with such a ubiquitous concept that contact became superfluous, almost redundant. They had touched on something tragically common, and all I had to do was add banjo! 

If you could create your own band with anyone dead or alive who would you include?

 Nusrat Fata Ali Khan

If you were to remake one song of your choice, which would it be?

“Something” by Labi Siffre



Photo of Adrian Galvin (Yoke Lore) by Wes and Alex (@wesandalex)

Obviously with Covid, touring has been put on a pause, but when you get back onto the road, is there a specific city or country you'd like to perform at?

Well, I was heading out on a national tour here in the US when everything got shut down so I suppose I’ll take care of the people at home first then I move on to the rest of the world. I have never played a show in South America though I would like that.

Do you have any specific goals for 2021, whether that's music or personal goals?

I want to become a better tennis player. It’s a wild mental game. I want to release new music. I have a ton of songs just waiting to be set free. And I want to read more books than I did this year. 

Asides from music, I know you do a lot of art as well. Do you have a specific piece of art that you've made that holds meaning to you? And do you plan on incorporating more of your art in your future projects?

Yes, I always want to offer myself completely and I think the more of myself I can include in my music the better people will understand what I’m trying to say and will hear me better. I think my favorite song I’ve written is called “Tom Robbins,” it’s an old song that I never recorded. That might be my favorite piece of art I’ve made. 


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