Interview: Yoke Lore’s Debut Album Is a Spiritual Guidebook on Evolving & Keeping Up With All Kinds of Change

Yoke Lore © Tanner Deutsch
Yoke Lore © Tanner Deutsch
Yoke Lore tells Atwood Magazine that it’s okay to be changing, and to embrace flux. He describes his imaginative upbringing, interpretations of Taoism, and the lessons of life that make up the foundation to his brand-new album, ‘Toward a Never Ending New Beginning.’
Stream: “Hallucinate” – Yoke Lore

There are certain people out there. These people have unique childhoods that allot them special perspectives on life.

The lens through which they view life, just happens to be different from the prescribed lens of most. They are rare, and they bring childlike wonder to all that intersect across their paths.

Yoke Lore is a truly unique individual.

Peculiar in the best possible ways, there is so much layer and depth to his story of change and perspective. It’s truly the beautiful part of music, the ability to allow those with secrets of the universe to share their ideas and views with the rest of the world.

Toward A Never Ending New Beginning - Yoke Lore
Toward A Never Ending New Beginning, Yoke Lore’s debut album, out September 22, 2023 via Yell House Records

Born Adrian Galvin in New York, Yoke Lore has always been intriguing. It’s a byproduct of having a curious and whimsical upbringing. Galvin’s journey began with parents that allotted him the freedom to do a lot of thinking, about the world around him, how he felt, the emotions that he experienced, and the way that the world shaped those experiences.

“This is something that my parents articulated to me pretty early on, the idea that you create the world around you with the things you put into it. That seems like everything to me… If I had to choose one idea [for this album], this might be it. It paints the world as malleable and still being created, and gives you kind of a divine responsibility almost.”

Being able to think freely and consciously around the world around him is Galvin’s superpower. One that he attained from his early days. Not being afraid of feeling afraid and being open to being open.

“I feel like I have this responsibility, it’s kind of silly, but you know it’s because I can do this. I was blessed with a wonderful education and smart parents and really good books. I was given the ability to think about myself and think about my own feelings. My parents are both psychoanalysts.”

Yoke Lore © Tanner Deutsch
Yoke Lore © Tanner Deutsch

His upbring is so important to Galvin’s story, because it’s so uniquely mystical and fascinating at the same time.

Just as Galvin is a wonderfully one-of-a-kind individual, his parents are both very interesting people as well.

“Shkabuddunechke; My dad is kind of wild, he made up this language when we were little kids. He used to do it all the time. It was one of his favorite phrases to say when hugging people, he would just hug you and say ‘Shkabuddunechke!’”

“We moved out of the city and moved down to this town called Katonah in Westchester. There was this old lady, this old kind of crazy lady. We used to walk around town in the mornings. And she spoke Italian and she didn’t speak English, but she would just kind of like wander around town and talk to herself. And I think one of the reasons why dad made up that language is because he would go and talk to her. Like they would have these like 10-minute-long conversations, like totally gibberish, him speaking his made up language, her maybe speaking Italian.”

“And he could also talk to animals. My mom used to be a filmmaker, and now she’s kind of like a guru. She is a yoga teacher, but she has followers all over the world. She flies all over the world and gives talks and teaches and stuff… Both my parents are really, really special creative people.”

Yoke Lore © Tanner Deutsch
Yoke Lore © Tanner Deutsch

His parents set forth the foundation of spirituality and being in tune with the world around. It helps Galvin move forward and interpret the past. In particular, the teachings of Taoism were a crucial element in this new album, Galvin tells Atwood Magazine.

“Taoism was a big part of this album. The song I just released, called ‘Shake,’ is a big part of it. It’s the transition I was going through. In Taoism, there’s an oracle called the I Ching, and it’s like a divination tool… One day I was laying on the couch not feeling great, and I used this tool to look up what transition I was going through. You ask it a question. You’re like, what’s happening here? What am I doing? Whatever situation that you’re worried about, it kind of just maps out.”

Elaborating further on the importance of Taoism, “All these ancient Chinese dudes were like, ‘Okay, there’s 64 Different flux points. There are 64 different transitions we can name and specify.’ And at any given moment, you’re going through one, at least. So, this is a way to find out what transition you’re going through. This one, shake, was kind of like, ‘Get off your ass dude. Cuz it’s gonna go septic soon.’ That was the inspiration.”

The song is melodic and comforting, but it’s backed by a powerful message.

“So ‘Shake’ kind of means like, in nature, you don’t drink from a sitting pool of water, right? You have to drink from a rushing river. The same goes for the body. Natural concepts are true everywhere. And because we are part of nature, it’s true with us. So, if you live too much of a stagnant life, you start to get brittle and stale, so you have to keep yourself moving. You have to keep yourself learning things, keep yourself growing you know, otherwise you stay the same and nothing in life is supposed to stay the same.”

I’m the fire that gets you high
And you’re the arrow piece the sky
if there’s grace in my veins I’ ll make it rain
if you hold me I wont feel the blade
So flee the earth and learn to fly
I was born to use my eagle eyes
cause your beauty burns what your heart
deserves until your body learns
I believe in silence and you believe in love
I will dedicate every single breath I take to you
they can never stop a thing you don’t drop
you got to love while awake
get up on your feet and lift up your gaze
you gotta find time to shake
and they can never stop a thing you don’t drop
you got to love while awake
get up on your feet and lift up your gaze
you gotta find time to shake

Yoke Lore © Tanner Deutsch
Yoke Lore © Tanner Deutsch

Galvin truly believes in the universal truths of change and progression.

When we stay still, the world moves without us. It’s crucial to keep moving, whether that’s forward, or in another direction. The only thing that matters is adapting to the change and embracing that unfavorable change can turn into something positive.

“Part of my job as an artist is to be an explorer and to keep adding new questions to ask myself. If you don’t change as an artist, then you’re not doing art.”

The song, “Winona,” is a beautiful story of change and acceptance. Damned if it’s labeled a sad song, because it is anything but. It’s a song about bravely facing the unfaceable. Confronting the memories of what is no longer, this is the essence of his forthcoming debut album, Toward a Never Ending New Beginning. 

“‘Winona’ is a song about a big separation, and it’s kind of a plea to myself to view that kind of breakup or separation as moving forward. Change sucks, and separation is hard. But to celebrate it as a desperate leap into the future is a way to do just that, to rewrite your story a little bit. And you can hear the desperation in it, and you can hear the kind of flailing. But it’s a real attempt to make something beautiful out of something sad.”

I wish my heart would lie, my mind does all the time
I didn’t know I was alive, until you left and I died
With Xs on my eyes
With Xs on my eyes
My baby watches the stars, like they are telling her jokes
I stand up waving my heart, thinking that I might explode
And my head is in your hands again
But it feels like the center of the earth
Then why don’t I give up
If it just costs too much?
All I’ve got is an unbearable song
About the memory of what was once us

His latest single, “Hallucinate,” out now, is abstract, yet directly to the point.

Echoing the same message over and over with the lyrics, “Why does love make me hallucinate?” Galvin is extraordinarily well-spoken, and his message is painted clearly with this song. He is embracing change but observing its impact and taking note of its mark on his life.

Galvin, at such a young age, possesses some other-worldly wisdom on the most difficult concepts known to man. He wrote this album with such emotion, and almost a desperation, to process what has happened. It’s as if the album was therapy for him.

“I’m kind of treating this album as my own little book of change. Each song was a necessary transition that I had to go through, whether that be like romantically or ideologically, or just personally, I think they’re all accounts of me having to move myself in a direction. Change is hard, and there’s a lot of reluctance.”

But, this wasn’t meant to solely bring comfort to Galvin, it was for his fans. His mission is to give a voice to the silent, and to lend a hand to those that are down on the ground.

“It’s really hard to interpret your own life sometimes. And I think the whole idea of art is really giving words to people that they don’t have. It helps them see themselves and helps them see the world. I’m in this position where I can do that, just because of my upbringing, and I definitely feel a responsibility to like use it to help people. I think it’s a huge undertaking, and I feel humbled constantly. It’s also really invigorating.”

A humble servant to his fans and newcomers of his music.

Yoke Lore © Tanner Deutsch
Yoke Lore © Tanner Deutsch

Galvin elaborates further, “I want to help people, like, give them ways to think about things that [they] aren’t usually thinking about, and I want to give them words to express feelings that they don’t know how to express, you know?… I hope that by articulating the specific changes that I go through and struggles around those changes, will give people a way to identify and articulate the changes that they’re going through, and maybe aren’t going through, because they are avoiding it or, like, scared of it.”

Galvin, an articulate superhero. Taking the tribulations and lessons of his psyche to expand and build up those around him. Constantly changing, and ever evolving. The world is a better place with people like Galvin in it; using his talents to lift those around him.

Toward A Never Ending New Beginning is out September 22nd via Yell House Records.

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:: stream/purchase Toward a Never Ending New Beginning here ::
:: connect with Yoke Lore here ::

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Toward A Never Ending New Beginning - Yoke Lore

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