Brooklyn's Yoke Lore has enjoyed a stellar year so far.
Each day seems to find more fans uncovering his music, with none other than Taylor Swift amongst the latest to voice their approval.
New EP 'Absolutes' is out now, with the resolutely independent pop voice retaining his early focus while adding some sparkling fresh elements.
A tantalising glimpse of what might lie ahead, it's sparked by indie songwriting, by dream pop textures, by an innate grasp of melancholy, and by a desire to pursue pop perfection.
Clash caught up with Yoke Lore to explore a few of his Influences...
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M83 - 'Kim And Jessie'
I get compared to M83 a lot, and honestly, I don't reeeeally see it. But it feels like a huge compliment, so I take it. I'm starting to think that maybe Yoke Lore doesn't so much sound like M83 as it kind of references the way M83 creates these super vast spaces to engulf a listener in. Or, at least, I hope that's an aspect that my music draws from. That's what I love and admire about their work.
They have these super intimate moments where Anthony Gonzales is almost whispering, but then those moments explode and give way to mountains of sound, and you get to occupy all the space in between. It's a wild and beautiful thing.
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Modest Mouse - 'Heart Cooks Brain'
Modest Mouse was a young love. I was into punk music when I was little, but I guess I didn't really find my place in it until I located the punk attitude in other genres and sonic disguises.
I saw Modest Mouse as a punk band whose words I could understand and sing back to. I grew up listening to musical theater in family car rides so finding a singer who sounded strange and captivating was so contra to what I had known singers to be, and to me that was like the apex of rebellion.
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Ibeyi - 'Ghosts'
I want to bring some substance back to pop music with the sounds I make and the words I write. Pop music is such a huge platform and hosts such a wide audience, why not spread good challenging ideas for young people to sink their teeth and ears into.
I think Ibeyi is doing this. They are telling real stories with progressions that draw on binding family traditions and melodies that come from the past. They are true teachers.
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Band Of Horses - 'Infinite Arms'
People always compare me to Band Of Horses as well, so I might as well address it. First of all, I love them. I think they use classical Americana sounds in such a wildly innovative way. Ben Bridwell's voice is at the same time longing and triumphant. They make complexity seem like simplicity and offer everyday experience that becomes transformed by their anthemic presentation of it. They offer nostalgia. I think this is where we cross paths.
For some reason, I write chords that can easily be called sad. There is a distant hope to them, but that hope is far off yet. Absolutes is about times when I've had to realize that things aren't pure or one sided. There is hope in those moments, but it's also a letting go of something. You have to let the old parts of yourself die to let new parts of yourself grow.
I think there is a bit of this sad but hopeful feeling in a lot of their music, and I've realized that I tend toward it, too.
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Animal Collective - 'Grass'
Animal Collective has always been and will always be a beacon for me. Their music combats the world is soft beautiful ways that leave both fighters enlightened with new insights. I can remember specific times when I heard specific songs of theirs for the first time and 'Bluish' is one of those songs. Their music has become a way to remember myself.
I was in my best friend's freshman dorm of Kenyon College in Ohio watching a candle float around a bucket of water, and we had done a drug that hadn't really worked. We all just sat around and watched the floating candle anyway cause the whole album was so wonderful and fresh and made us consider things. It was a good moment.
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Yoke Lore's new EP 'Absolutes' is out now.
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