Artist To Watch, Yoke Lore, Talks Inspiration, Storytelling & Perspective


Meet Adrian Galvin, previous songwriter for the indie-alternative band “Walk the Moon” and current creator of side project turned main act, Yoke Lore.

What to know: Inspired by visual and performing arts, Adrian of Yoke Lore has manifested quite the hype ever since its original creation. Brooklyn-based and full of bright, airy, drum-based anthems, Yoke Lore will take you to unexpected places and leave you feeling moved.


Adrian is no novice to the music scene, coming from his college days of songwriting for Walk the Moon, moving on to his first side project Yellerkin, and landing his home base as Yoke Lore, his passion and presence is noticeable and felt instantly during your first listen. His original EP, “Far Shore,” was released in 2016, receiving impressive reviews and impact. As for more recent material, take a listen to his 2017 release: “Goodpain.”  

Yoke Lore musically dives into connection, feeds on the idea that we are bound together through stories, and lingers on the musical notes of electronica, pop, and folk. Check out his latest music video, “World Wings” here:

I had the opportunity to ask Adrian a few questions, delving in deep to understand where he draws inspiration, storytelling, and perspective from, and not to mention what his most-used emoji is 😉 


20something: After listening to a previous interview you did, I heard you say how you strive to tell stories about how things are connected or bound together because that is where you believe true value lies. Can you give me an example of a song of yours where you feel you most succeeded in doing this?

Adrian Galvin: I’m not sure I’ve succeeded yet. I’m not sure I’ll ever succeed, but I will be the ever-striving individual. All of my songs are attempts to really penetrate to the meaty center of any connection, whether that be between myself, a lover, or my listeners. There are moments of clarity that come through, and I think there are those moments in all my songs, but I’m not sure this quest (or question) of mine has an end (or an answer).  

What do you feel bound to personally? Better yet, what story do you feel personally bound to?

AG: There are lots of stories I feel bound to. I think stories, the arts, and religions that tell them do so to help us as individuals begin to navigate life and define ourselves. I feel bound to stories of my family history and stories in the religions I grew up within. But I also feel bound to stories that really affected my young developing character. I was obsessed with movies like The Lion King and Oliver when I was little. I could become other little boys and live different lives. When I got older, I began to read books like Siddhartha and The Fountainhead that informed my newly masculine teenage conception of self. I went to college and became fascinated with the stories of the liberation theologians in South America fighting against the fascist regimes in the 1970’s. Lately, I have been deep into Science Fiction. The books of William Gibson are really blowing my mind.


Describe your music style in just 3 words

AG: Rough. Sincere. Choral.


How does the process of creating music as a solo project, Yoke Lore, differ from when you created music as a part of the band Walk the Moon?

AG: With Yoke Lore, it’s just me. That’s all I got. I have to be my own collaborator, my own editor, and my own devil’s advocate. It is more challenging. It is more rewarding in some ways.


What song are you most proud of creating so far to date?

AG: “Level Tools”


The visuals for your music video “World Wings” are stunning. Where did you go to film and can you give us the details behind the music video’s overall concept?

AG: We filmed it in Northern California and Nevada this past winter. It was just my good friend/director Kenneth Polyak and I. We hiked and drove around for a week, stopping in places that worked along a kind of color scheme that we had built the visuals around. The video is about a couple questions having to do with journeying and change; When we travel, age, move on what in us changes or what parts of us get shifted. And furthermore, do we ever really change, or do we keep ending up back where we started?


Favorite venue to play at? What set the crowd apart compared to other show’s crowds?

AG: I love Bowery Ballroom in NYC. It’s my home town, so the crowd is always really lovely and receptive, but it’s also just the wood everywhere that makes the room just really warm and lush sounding.


If you could have a dinner date with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?

AG: Rasputin. There are a couple people throughout history that could do wild stuff, had some magic in them. He was one of ’em. Him or the Emperor Ashoka.


Greatest album of 2017 so far? If you don’t have one yet, what about 2016?

AG: Oh no, this is hard. I already have a couple favs! I’m gonna go with Ctrl by SZA


Who are you greatest musical influences? How do you take inspiration from them and incorporate it into your own music?

AG: I want to sing with the passion of Edith Piaf. I wanna use my body like Elvis. I want to write songs like Leonard Cohen. I want to scream like Ozzy Osbourne. I want to be able to give love to an audience like Nas does. I want to have as much fun as Guerilla Toss does. I want to use everything I hear, read, and watch. I want to pull out the nuggets of gold I find, because you can find them everywhere. I want to put them to use in me, for you.


If you could collaborate with any current artist, who would it be?

AG: Carly Rae Jepsen


What is your MOST-used emoji?

AG: Salsa lady


So you do yoga…I wanna hear about why yoga is your chosen exercise, and I’m wondering…does mindfulness play a role in your creation of music?

AG: I was kind of born into it. My whole family is big on it and has always been. My mother is kind of like a guru of sorts in New York City at her studio called ‘The Studio,’ so it’s not so much that I chose it and more that it was just there. But I am lucky it was there. Yoga is the science of binding. You can already see how it comes through. The more connections in the body you can make – hand to foot, foot to hand, knee to armpit – the more stable the body becomes. The more stable you are, the more able you are. Also I don’t JUST do yoga. I write music by looking into myself to find real honest questions I can ask. I first pose the questions physically to add form to these usually pretty amorphous issues I want to play with. What’s true in the body is true in the life. I look to my practice and to my study yogic and taoist philosophies not for answers, but for strategies and ways to work through them, different ways to ask them. Lots of my songs use tactile verbiage to get more emotional ideas across. It’s where it all starts.


Greatest life lesson you’ve learned that’s applicable to 20somes?

AG: Don’t take anything personally, ever.