Yoke Lore’s “Dead Ringer” is an honest examination of love, of life, and of the merits of moving fast.
Stream: “Dead Ringer” – Yoke Lore
Adrian Galvin, better known by his stage alias “Yoke Lore,” is part poet and part musical artist. One listen to Galvin’s latest single “Dead Ringer” – or really, any of his music – and it’s obvious that his tracks aren’t simply songs. Galvin’s music is poetry packaged with a catchy, indie tune and presented to listeners as an exploration of life’s deeper truths. It’s no wonder that Galvin admitted that his song “Beige” started as a poem to his girlfriend. “Dead Ringer” obviously has similar poetic roots. Galvin isn’t afraid to dive deeper in his music, and that might just be Yoke Lore’s hallmark trait; his willingness to get candid 一 about life, about love, about all of it. “Dead Ringer” is no exception.
The Katonah, New York native doesn’t concern himself with surface level. This song is an ode to that, and consequently, makes itself an instant essential to any indie/alternative playlist. “Dead Ringer” feels like an epiphany; a moment of realization, a resolution. It’s equal parts cinematic and intimate, dreamy and grounded. The track has undertones of a love song, but that isn’t obvious; it’s something you have to dig for. Galvin recently admitted to Variance Magazine that the song was written about pace. “‘I like to move fast because I believe in progress over perfection…I get over things fast and live to move on to the next thing quickly,’” Galvin said to Variance. “‘It helps me stay unattached. So that I don’t get bogged down by loss of defeat…But when you move quickly, you miss certain aspects of the journey. I could be missing out on some really wonderful information that I would get if I stopped to smell the roses once in a while. I worry that when something or someone really important comes around, I will be moving too quickly to catch it or them.’”
I’ll sleep when I’m older
And I’ll die when I’m done
When the night’s almost over
I curse the sun cause I’m forever young
This apprehension drives the track, but in a very organic, relaxed way. The floaty vocals, sincere lyrics, and overall whimsy of the song suggest that, despite this realization, Galvin isn’t too concerned. Instead, he’s more focused on moving at his current, quick pace.
The song opens with the lyrics, “I’ll sleep when I’m older//And I’ll die when I’m done//When the night’s almost over I curse the sun cause I’m forever young.” This reveals a very youthful attitude that Galvin has adapted. He believes more ardently in the present than he does anything else. He isn’t particularly worried about reality, adding that he’ll sleep when he’s older, and “die when I’m done.” This again displays his invincible frame of mind that tends to be characteristic of younger people.
And when your heart fall
hits and you want to forget
You give me shiver down
ways to believe in the rest
I got the words for the feelings
that were stuck in your chest
Try to find change but I run like a river
I never knew love but you’re a dead ringer
Galvin goes on to sing, “And when your heart fall hits and you want to forget//You give me shiver down ways to believe in the rest//I got the words for the feelings that were stuck in your chest.” Despite the fact that this song largely documents Galvin making sense of his own life, there is an element of someone else being involved in the song. He even adds that, “I got the words for the feelings that were stuck in your chest,” which adds a bit of imagery to the song.
The song picks up its pacing when Galvin sings, “Try to find change but I run like a river//I never knew love but you’re a dead ringer.” These lyrics add another layer of dimension to the track. By just reading these lyrics, you’d think this is a love song, and Galvin is confessing that the person the song is about is a “dead ringer” for love. A dead ringer is, by definition, “someone who looks exactly like someone else,” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary.
I’ll burn like a red brand
And I don’t mind the cold
But I’ll run slow for your soft hands
And I’ll freeze when you go
This seemingly romantic addition to the song sets the tone for the rest of the track, where Galvin sings, “I’ll burn like a red brand//And I don’t mind the cold//But I’ll run slow for your soft hands//And I’ll freeze when you go.” The idea of ‘pacing’ that he mentioned to Variance comes back up here, as he states that he’ll run slow for this undisclosed person. Perhaps the person the song is for is someone he hasn’t even met yet, as Galvin mentioned that he is worried that when he meets someone “important,” he won’t be able to realize it due to his tendency to rush and focus more on the future than he does on the now.
“Dead Ringer” is an honest examination of love, of life, and of the merits of moving fast – and its inevitable drawbacks, too.
You’d be hard pressed to find another artist that has so much emotional intellect and is capable of creating songs you want to keep on replay all day. Yoke Lore has both of these, and more.
Stream: “Dead Ringer” – Yoke Lore
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📸 © Jakob Wandel
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