We caught up with folk-pop wonder Yoke Lore – the solo project of Adrian Galvin – about his recently released EP, Meditations, his love of dancing, and how much he hates bananas.
You’re skilled at banjo and percussion but when you were younger you were immersed in ballet, painting and photography as well. How did these early learnings influence the style of music you have today?
Having art always around taught me to be confident in my curiosity. To strive with an open mind and a limitless thirst. I think my style of music is hard to articulate specifically because it comprises a lot of stuff. Music, ideas, movements, and feelings that have all coalesced inside me. You can see the ballet dancer in me even though I’m thrashing, you can see the drummer in me even though I’m playing a banjo, etc.
You were previously in bands Yellerkin and Walk the Moon. How does solo artistry compare – both positively and negatively?
It’s harder cause there’s nobody else to blame. But it’s more fun because there’s nobody else to blame.
You were touring non-stop for 3 years. That’s intense. How did you stay grounded during that time on the road?
I mean, it wasn’t NON-STOP, like, I took breaks to eat, see family, climb a few hills. But it’s great. I love being on the road. I love singing for people, and I love seeing the world, one truck stop at a time haha. I think it’s what I’m meant to do. I have lots of energy. I need to be moving in order to feel ok. Touring helps.
Which is your favourite of your songs to play live?
I get to dance during “Goodpain” which is always fun, but some of the really quiet ones are fun too, cause you really get to look people in the eyes and bore into them (in a nice way, I promise).
A lot of the songs on your recently released EP Meditations are tweaked versions of already existing favourites. What does this record mean to you?
Like the title of the EP kind of insinuates, these songs have become like mantras or meditations for me. A meditation for me is something you do over and over and over again, that it takes on a specific dimension of its own. These songs have becomes my meditations, and I wanted to let people into how I see, hear, and use them to orient myself. It’s an exercise in repetition and the insight that repetition can afford us if we are patient and persistent.
When I saw you in London, you played a new song called “Tom Robbins” that is inspired by the author of your favourite novel, Still Life With Woodpecker and the recurring question “how can you make love stay?” I actually ended up buying that book so I could read it! Can you elaborate on why you wanted to write a song about this?
Cause Tom Robbins is a straight genius, and more people should know that. But also that’s the only question there really is, in my opinion. I mean, I challenge each and every reader to come up with another question that so concisely encapsulates every human struggle. I also wanted to write it because I believe that repetition is the soul of insight, and the more we ask ourselves unanswerable questions, the more integrity our inner dialogues will have. The more we ask each other, the more we can keep ourselves conscious of what each of us needs to feel safe and protected, and thus, free and able.
What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?