Yoke Lore’s self-written bio on social media reads “the stories of how we are bound.” This is how Adrian Galvin, formerly known as Yoke Lore, defines his music; they are all songs about connecting to one another.
For Adrian Galvin, the act of connecting is integral to his art; it’s how he is able to explore different bonds between individuals, whether that’s romantic, platonic, or something that isn’t easily definable. Galvin has been releasing an EP every year since 2016 and each one shows his growth as an artist and his lifelong journey of researching human connections and their bonds and making songs about it.
His latest EP release, Meditations, includes a few previously released songs by Galvin but with a new life and sound. In addition to those songs include his latest single, Safe and Sound. The video for the single, which just premiered, is shot documentary-style and follows two identical twin girls—Emilie and Brianna Gonzalez—who are both wrestlers training for a competition in Los Angeles. The video captures the spirit of the song and explores what exactly is a safe and sound place for someone, whether that’s in the love between you and another person, one of the five senses, or through activities like sports and music.
1883 Magazine had a chat with Adrian about his new video, his music career as Yoke Lore, and his upcoming tour.
Why the name Yoke Lore instead of your own name and what exactly does it mean?
The ‘Yoke’ refers to an oxen yoke: that wood collar thing that holds oxen together as they till. ‘Lore’ refers to any collection of stories. I’m interested in stories about how we are bound to one another, as humans, or lovers, or siblings, or train car riders, or traffic jam crawlers. I’m interested in how we connect to one another, and I want to tell stories of different connections and boundaries to make a collection.
We don’t hear the banjo very often in pop music! Why did you decide to incorporate the banjo so heavily in your sound?
Banjo has a really specific history. When you think of a banjo, you think of dudes in plaid with beards wearing suspenders and boots with heels. It has never been presented differently. I love it for its particular history, but I also believe there is so much more to be done with those sounds and those scales in those intervals. Think of how many different styles and directions people have taken the guitar in. I want that for the banjo. There’s so much potential energy I can work with.
Tell us a bit about your new music video for your single Safe and Sound. What’s the inspiration behind the song and the video? Why did you opt to create a docu-style music video?
The song is about being specific when you talk about love. A person can be your safe and sound. A feeling or song or a diner or a smell can be someones safe and sound. This song is about the importance of finding whatever that is. For the video, we wanted to find and exhibit something you wouldn’t normally think of to be a safe and sound for someone, but that offers that person (or persons, in our case) a true sense of rightful belonging and the safety and sound of mind that comes with that.
You’ve released a handful of EPs and singles since you went solo a few years ago. How has your songwriting or sound developed over the past few years?
I’m not sure its as much of a development to me as it has been an exploration. Maybe I have developed, but I can’t be sure. What I can be sure of is that I’m going to a lot of different places internally and sonically. Each EP to me is way different than the last, but not because they all have different instrumentation or anything like that. For me, it’s more about the content of the writing that separates them. Each has a kind of philosophic motif with which I explore an issue or idea that I want to contend with. My first as Yoke Lore was Far Shore and it was about my longing for the deep zeitgeist kind of knowledge that I admire in great thinkers. Goodpain became about how to put hardship into a larger perspective that allows me and hopefully us to see struggle as a necessary part of any progress. I want my music to develop intellectually first, everything else will follow.
Meditations, your latest EP, revisits your previous songs. You breathe a new and different life into each of them. Why did you decide to do this? Has the passing of time given you a different perception or feeling towards each song?
I think the passage of time has given me a deeper understanding of what they mean to other people. Playing these songs on tour every night for years definitely gives me an acute sense of how they affect a crowd, and they get deeper into me every time I play them, but I wanted to really offer these songs a new dimension, so that the people to whom they mean something can have something richer and deeper to find real purchase.
What can audiences expect on your first-ever headlining tour that’s happening later this year?
I’m going to try to play all my songs and not mess up any of the words. I’m going to talk a lot cause I want to make people think. I’m going to play really fast and make you wanna move, and I’m going to play really slow and make you wanna cry. But we’ll all go through it together so we’ll be alright!
What is the one thing you hope your music achieves?
I want it to help people question themselves.
I got a new song coming out just about every month for a while over the rest of the summer and autumn. Music, music, music! Can’t wait to play it all for you!!