Originally published on Introspxct.
Yoke Lore, the solo project of Adrian Galvin, was born out of one-off acoustic gig under the banner of his old band Yellerkin. “I was asked to play this set and me and the person who I had been doing Yellerkin with had a falling out and I had been writing a bunch,” Galvin explained. “They asked me and I said I would just do an acoustic show. I played Beige for the first time, I played Snow Day, and I played Heavy Love. I introduced myself as Yellerkin, and by the end of the show I wasn’t Yellerkin anymore.”
This Greenpoint gig in the summer of 2015 established the foundation for Yoke Lore, and the Far Shore EP was released less than a year later in May 2016. Since then he's released the Goodpain EP, toured with acts like Overcoats and Aquilo, and just last week was added to Taylor Swift's "Songs Taylor Loves" playlist. From its inception, Yoke Lore was an inherently personal project, albeit one with a desire to be “useful to people,” as Galvin says. The decision to go by Yoke Lore, as opposed to simply Adrian Galvin, was made in order to expand the project to its fullest potential. “I didn’t want to limit myself to just my identity and Adrian Galvin’s history and experiences. I wanted to leave room to acknowledge that this is something other than Adrian Galvin, and though it uses a lot of Adrian Galvin’s words and perspectives, I need it to be a little bit more.”
However, it would be remarkably easy to fill EP upon EP with his own experiences and encounters in his artistic endeavors alone. In his studies is at Kenyon College, Galvin created his own major, which he recalls was titled “Encountering Self Divinity: Paths in Liberation Theology and German Social Theory.” He studies included religion and philosophy classes, and even a one year stint in India to practice as a Buddhist monk. All the while, he took dance classes and was a formative member of Walk The Moon.
Galvin says he first encountered music through worship, with a cantor coming to his home on Fridays for Shabbat and his father singing at Catholic mass on Sunday mornings. A combination of this early exposure to performance along with being surrounded by creative individuals in his family reinforced the idea of strong skill-building, “My parents really stressed the importance of [the arts] becoming serious ways of interacting with ourselves and the world.” While his two siblings were clear actors from the get-go, Adrian fell in love with dance. “Me and my cousins used to choreograph dances to Michael Jackson songs when we were little babes," he recalls. "I guess it was a way for me to participate in doing it my own way but still participating in the family thing because that was very important to me.” His dance background clearly carries through in his performances with Yoke Lore, almost as if the music has nowhere to go but through his body. His kinetic energy can also be found in the performances he does with Boomerang Dance and Performance Project, of which he is also a founding member.
Galvin is pretty protective of Yoke Lore -- he does all the merch and album artwork, choreographs his own videos, only worked with one producer, Ariel Loh, for both EPs and shares the stage with a just drummer for the live show. But the two person performance always ends with a tender moment. “Yeah I always like to have a nice hug after we’re done,” he says. “We accomplish something together, it’s a marathon partner. And at the end you just want to acknowledge that to each other and to the crowd.” As for future live shows, Galvin would be open to possibly adding keys as the stage grows, as well as a couple more vocalists.
“My dream is to have a boy choir. Like a group of boy sopranos. Not a lot of people can sing as high as I can sing but I want the male quality, so it’d be perfect to have a bunch of twelve year old boys singing at the top of their lungs,” he laughs. “There are these awesome choirs in London, there’s a London boy choir and it’s so gorgeous. There’s one at the Vatican. They’re all over the place, so at one point I’m just gonna snag a couple.”
While the addition of the boy choir might be a bit further down the road, there are some more immediate plans for Yoke Lore. Galvin is looking forward to releasing new music and shares that he the next drop will also be an EP, as that allows him to “move faster [and] be prolific.” This spring he hits the road with FRENSHIP for a two-month long run across the country. He’s especially excited to hit spots like Albuquerque and Phoenix. “It’s going to be really hot when I get there which is nice because I’m looking out at a snow storm right now..." he begins to trail off, distracted, before shouting, "Holy shit that’s the FATTEST cardinal I’ve ever seen! You’ve gotta see this bird. I can’t believe it gets off the ground.”
Check out Yoke Lore on Instagram and Twitter.