Catching Up With Yoke Lore


By Amelia Zollner

For Adrian Galvin, more commonly known by his solo project’s name of Yoke Lore, it’s only been a little over than two years since the release of his debut EP Far Shore, yet he’s already accomplished a lot. Between creating a variety of successful singles like “Beige” and “Goodpain,” having a song of his placed on a Netflix show, and touring with artists like Frenship and Overcoats, he’s had a successful few years performing as Yoke Lore and definitely has a promising road ahead. His next stop is the release of his next EP, Absolutes, which was released on July 27th.

HEM: So you have a new EP coming out on July 27th called Absolutes. How is this EP different from your other music?
It’s not so much that it’s different. Absolutes is specific and special because it’s the next step. It was made under specific circumstances, in particular places, with distinct instruments and materials. Its magic is in its impermanence almost. It is a step in the staircase that I’m gonna ride to the top. I made this music while touring, which I’ve never done before. Maybe it lacks focus, maybe it’s good, but either way, it doesn’t matter because this whole thing is so necessary for me to learn my own habits, proclivities, and needs. This music made across a year of consistent touring sounds different than some of my other stuff, and of course it does. I want to learn about how I change and when and why. Then I can do this better.

HEM: What was your inspiration behind Absolutes?
Each song is in part about something that I, at one point or another, thought was or should be pure. Singular. But the more I live life, the more I get hurt by people, the more I hurt people, and learn things, and forget things, and the more I pick battles, the more I realize that there is rarely anything that is pure or singular or all capital T true. And it’s not depressing, I’m not some fatalist that doesn’t believe in beauty. It’s just that things are usually a more organic balance of things. People aren’t usually all bad or all good, no matter how much we love to watch the struggles of good and evil in the movies, usually people have both good and evil sides of themselves. So this is a collection of moments when I’ve had to contend with that idea.

HEM: I’ve heard that you illustrate the cover art for your music. Could you explain how the art for this EP ties into the music?
The album art is set as two groups of loosely parallel lines that intersect and break up each others uniformity. In the intersecting points, new shapes are created and new cavities are formed, new space becomes contained and occupied. Basically 1+1=3. Paths that we think are absolute, when broken, can lead us to new insights. When two things come together, they don’t just combine – they create something completely new. You are more than the sum of your parts. But it’s all initiated from the intersection, the yoking of opposites.

HEM: You’ve already released two singles from the EP, “Cut and Run” and “Fake You.” How have people reacted to the releases of these singles?
Some like ’em, some hate ’em. I’ll take it all.

HEM: Do you have a favorite song from Absolutes?

HEM: What would you say was the most challenging song to write in terms of introducing new sounds and ideas, and how did that work with your usual songwriting process?
The last song on the EP is a song called “Homing.” It’s not so much that it was difficult, but it was elusive. I play the banjo a bit differently than I usually do, and I left way more space in the song than I usually do. But sometimes, you need to let a song lead itself. Sometimes I feel as though I can be too imposing, and I kind of suffocate the magic of a song that doesn’t need huge epic drums or big transitional chords. Sometimes you just need to play it and step back to let the lyrics and the melody just do their job. I’m still learning.

HEM: Do you have a favorite place that you’ve toured (either a city or a specific show)?
I played a show on July 4th on a rooftop in Brooklyn while there were fireworks going off all over the place for the holiday. That was pretty special. And I love Canada.

HEM: I’ve noticed that your music contains a lot of different styles. What genre would you describe your music as?
I play soft music with hard energy. It’s a dirty gentle trance.

Photo By: Wes & Alex