Yoke Lore is a new musical evolution of Adrian Galvin, you may have known him as Yellerkin and Walk The Moon. His music reminds of sunny festival days, listening to the likes of M83, Grizzly Bear, Yeasayer, you get the feeling right? But all that reminiscing aside Yoke Lore has a unique sound, a huge part of it is his voice, layered with complexities of simpler musical instruments, like banjo, claps, and kettle drums.
Growing up in an artistic family no doubt had an effect on Galvin’s ongoing creative pursuit – Adrian is a dancer and still belongs to a troupe but the focus these days is on Yoke Lore and the mini North American tour for his lates EP release, Goodman. We cought up with Adrian before he kicks of the tour in Chicago to talk about all things music, art and touring:
Kateryna Topol: Hello Adrian, let’s talk about your first musical passion, drums was it?
Yorker Lore: I grew up with an older sister who I thought (and still think) is the coolest and the most rad person I know. She started taking drum lessons when she was around 10. I was 7, and it didn’t take me long to decide that’s actually what I wanted, too. Little brothers, am I right? She eventually faded out of her love for playing, but I just never did.
KT: Looking back at your musical career, you’ve had a few projects, how did you finally get to Yoke Lore, is this it, is this one?
YL: Yoke Lore wouldn’t be without WTM, or Yellerkin, or my college screamo folk band Poor Remy, or my middle school Led Zeppelin cover band Plaid Cabbage. This is a process and not a process that has an end. Part of it is just my maturation as I move through different motifs in life that demand my attention and focus – but also I think it’s my continual negotiation between the versions of Adrian that all these projects utilize. In WTM, I was a drummer. I learned how to use that part of me – how to perform 20 feet behind the stage, how to tour, and how to sign a deal. In Yellerkin, I became a frontman and had to use a different part of me. Maybe there are more Adrians that could crop up and take me through new ways of making and new ways of knowing.
KT: What’s your process like, do you write first, compose first…
YL: I wish I had a solid answer for that. I would love it to be closed predictable system, but maybe that’s what makes it special. It’s completely unpredictable. It gives me no notice. Sometimes, it happens in the car or in the shower. It might be a melody or rhythm. There is always a kernel of something that I begin with that I then expand upon.
KT: Can we talk about the music video for “Beige” – it’s weird and fantastic all at the same time, what’s behind the concept?
YL: At first, the idea was just to do a performance video within an artificial forest. We got trees, bushes, and the warehouse space in Austin, TX. As soon as we got there, we realized that we had created a world that we couldn’t really shy away from. There almost seemed to be more at stake as soon I was put in this alternate reality. The director Kenny Polyak and I kind of just went through what it would be like if we expanded the artificiality of the environment onto me. What if I became so completely integrated into that environment that I started to lose my natural integrity? We just kept following. We had a great team who made it all a really great experience, and Austin is always a fun town to work in.
KT: You still perform with Boomerang in Brooklyn, how do you manage dance performance and music?
YL: I haven’t been dancing so much recently because Yoke Lore has become a kind of full time job. But I try to stay active where I can. We just performed with our dear friend Greg Saunier of Deerhoof at Oberlin College last month. Before my tour starts later this month, we will be performing at the Art Institute of Chicago for their series on the sculptures of Rodin. Using my mind and body for dance makes my mind and body more pliant and nimble for music. Using my body to tell a story informs the way I tell stories with my voice. Everything you do enriches everything else you do.
KT: What can we expect from the live show, Will you dance? (the stage at the Garrison in Toronto is quite small)
YL: Haha, I will dance, for sure. I am a mover that loves to move. But only if you agree to move with me!
KT: Absolutely! What’s an ideal venue for Yoke Lore?
YL: The woods.
KT: I’d pay for that! What else do you have planned for 2018?
YL: I’ve got new music coming out soon. Like very, very soon. I got more art and merch this year. I’m doing my first headlining dates later this month. My first new video is in the works, which was partially shot in Hawaii! I got more stuff in the live show – gonna be playing new songs on this one, so I’m pretty excited for that. More of everything. I want to grow steadily and surely.
KT: Can’t wait to see it all come together!
All right, a few rapid fire questions: Favorite 5 record albums
YL: Catch me on a different day and my answer might shift a bit, but today?
Songs of Leonard Cohen – Leonard Cohen
Rumors – Fleetwood Mac
Blue – Weezer
Hail to the Thief – Radiohead
Strawberry Jam – Animal Collective
KT: And 5 songs?
YL: “Angie” by The Rolling Stones
“My Song” by Labi Siffre
“I Need Love” by LL CoolJ
“Lithium” by Nirvana
“I feel like making love” by Roberta Flack
KT: Favorite travel destination?
YL: I’ve been so lucky to have seen so much of this beautiful planet. I think the northern coast of Maine is one of my favorite places on the earth.
KT: Gonna have to add that to my list. Thank you for your time Adrian!
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Catch Yoke Lore on tour:
1/26 Cleveland @ Beachland Tavern (tickets)
1/27 Toronto @ The Garrison (tickets)
1/29 Washington, D.C. @ Songbyrd (tickets)
1/30 Philadelphia @ Johnny Brenda’s (tickets)