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A Chat With: Caroline Rose

With her monochrome outfits, quirky stage props, and straightforward stage banter, it’s impossible to forget a Caroline Rose show. Rose’s latest album Loner, released in February of this year via New West Records, creates its own little world in which Rose feeds listeners pop hooks and personal stories in an outlandish fashion. With this record, Rose establishes herself as an all around artist, not just another singer songwriter. It’s this passion, vision, and authenticity that has continued to catch the ears and eyes of music fans and led Rose to be on the road touring for the majority of this year. From playing multiple showcases a day back at SXSW in March to headline runs and support stints for Maggie Rogers and Rainbow Kitten Surprise, it’s been a whirlwind of a year for Caroline Rose.

Now, Rose is in the midst of another headlining national tour, and she’s stopping in Chicago tonight, November 8th, with And The Kids. Ahead of the show, she took some time to chat with me about finding her sound for Loner, her favorite movie directors, Kanye West’s mental breakdown, writing songs for Lana Del Rey and more. Turn on the record, tune into the full conversation with Caroline Rose below, and get to the gig tonight!

Photo Credit: CJ Harvey

Photo Credit: CJ Harvey

What do you remember as your first musical memory?

Oh that’s a good question! Well…ok yeah yeah yeah here’s a good one. When I was four or five, my funcle Randy, my fake uncle, he brought me a little acoustic guitar, and I remember jamming with him. He was playing piano and I was playing guitar to Dave Brubeck Quartet “Take Five” and that’s still one of my favorite songs. Of all time.

That’s awesome! So fast forwarding from that, you’ve since put out a few records, most recently Loner, in February of this year. I just love how straightforward and fearless you are on this album with satirical lyrics. I’ve seen you live too and when you talk about the songs, you just say it how it is. So what were some challenges you’ve faced with being so transparent and fearless with your writing? And then on the flip side, what do you find rewarding about not holding back at all and being honest?

I think being personal in music is something I’m trying to push even more. A lot of times I’ll use personification or blend stories together to make something new, but I’m always inspired by other artists who are even more personal in their music. It’s definitely something I’m continuing to push further. But I do think that the more personal the music is, the easier it is to relate to it, so that’s something that I find rewarding. When I’m listening to other artists, it’s the first thing that I gravitate towards, if someone’s being really open and upfront about what they’re trying to say. And at times being vulnerable. I think there’s a line to be drawn with being vulnerable, especially as a female songwriter. I think there’s a lot of stereotypes about female songwriters with guitars that are using their songs as a diary. It’s a stereotype I’m trying to break down a bit.

I definitely think you do a good job at keeping it fun and not sounding like it’s just another singer songwriter. You put a different spin on it. I’m sure that you find people voice their appreciation more when you’re honest in your songs.

Yeah and I think the more honest you can be, it pays off in the end. So it seems scary at first, but it does kind of pay off. It’s like if you’re being honest about who you are as a person even if you’re afraid of opening up, I think once you do it, you quickly realize that more people are gravitating towards it.

So I’m sure you’re somewhat sick of this kind of question, but there was a shift in your sound between your past albums and Loner. What growth did you see personally or what experiences did you have that helped you explore a different sound?

Well you’re right, I am sick of this question, but I also see why it’s important to bring it up. I think the first thing is five years passed between me making that album and this one, which is a long time. I was 21 when I made that last one, and it’s just been a long time. I think over the course of those years, I have just grown musically and my tastes have changed. I’ve kind of become more honest with myself, with what I want and what makes me happy. I think that kind of takes some time to figure out what you want and for me personally when I first started I really just wanted to write songs for other people. And be free and not be so much in the limelight. I just wanted to write a good song. Period. And I think once I started in that realm I realized that’s definitely not all I want to do. I have this boundless creative energy sometimes. I think that would be really limiting to me to just do that. It’s more challenging to me--I’ve realized over the year it’s way more challenging and I enjoy the challenge of creating my own world. Rather than creating a song, you can you know create the visuals and try to do something new. Instead of just trying something good. It’s just more interesting to me to maybe push the boundaries a little more. It’s definitely something I’m gonna do on the next record. I’m not gonna let that much time pass again, and a lot of that was really out of my control. I just hit a lot of roadblocks trying to get this album out. There’s a lot of material that never even came out because of label issues and switching my management and all the stuff that people don’t really know, or care about.

Yeah, all that behind the scenes stuff. I also read that for Loner, you met with a lot of different producers before ultimately deciding to co-produce it. What was the experience like producing your own work?

When I first started I had just signed with a new label and I wanted to get in the studio immediately and I had a short list of producers that I really wanted to work with. I was just gonna let them do it because at that point, I had all these songs but I didn’t really have the direction that I wanted to go in. Then I had all these kind of setbacks with producers and there was just so many setbacks and failed opportunities and not quite getting the songs right, or the label not liking what we did. Eventually a year passed and cause it takes so much time to schedule everything—it just takes months and months to schedule stuff—and by the end of the year I had really developed what I wanted to do, like a voice and narrative and the kind of direction I wanted to take it in. I’d gotten a lot better at using software and I was pretty well versed in Pro Tools so I was just teaching myself different formats to write and create string arrangements and all this stuff. By the time I found another producer, I was pretty much already producing a lot of it myself and all I really needed was help with a very specific set of things. That ended up being very useful to me because now I feel like I can do all that stuff that I once didn’t have as much confidence in. But now I’m pretty solid on all of those voids I’d had starting this record.

Circling back to your creative vision, you wear a monochrome wardrobe and your stage set up isn’t just you on a stage; You have that cat on your keyboard, you’ve had piñatas and flowers everywhere…Is there anybody that you found inspiring when you were trying to come up with your vision, or anyone else you think does visuals really well as an artist?

Oh yeah! I think most of the aesthetic is inspired by films, and I have a handful of directors that I’m obsessed with. Pedro Almodóvar is probably one of my favorite directors ever. And I’m inspired by his writing as well and you can kind of sense a lot of it in my own writing because there’s an element of whimsy in it, but all of his films are really serious. It’s very serious stories that are 9 times out of 10 really violent or there’s some sort of trauma that is experienced by the characters. But it’s also filled with these really bright, fun colors and the characters are very quirky and whimsical but they have a dark side to them, and I am hugely influenced by stuff like that. And David Lynch and a lot of the Coen brothers using drama and comedy, blending drama and comedy.

Yeah like that sense of dark humor.

Yeah, sometimes even blending horror with comedy. I love horror movies, like B horror movies that are one second terrifying and the next second they’re hilarious. I’m really inspired by stuff like that. I think you can tell when you go to see the show, especially our headlining show where we can decorate the stage however we want and I like that there’s kind of like a seedy porno vibe to it, but it’s also fun. I want people to walk away feeling like they experienced something special and you know blending that drama with whimsy is important I think.

Yeah totally, and I actually planned on bringing up David Lynch if you didn’t because I saw another interview when you talked about him and Wes Anderson specifically. Going off of that, what are some of your favorite films from either of those directors or other ones you’ve mentioned?

Well I think one of my favorite Almodóvar films, it translates as The Skin I Live In, and there’s another really great one called Bad Education. Volver is another one that people are probably familiar with. All of those include some sort of just like bizarre story line, just completely bizarre. The Skin I Live In is probably my favorite because it is just grotesque and completely unique, but the story is about this plastic surgeon whose daughter is allegedly raped by this boy. And he gets back at the boy by kidnapping him--this is like an insane story, but by kidnapping him and surgically altering him so he looks like his deceased wife. So the boy transforms into this plastic surgeon’s dead wife, and it turns out he didn’t actually do anything to the surgeon’s daughter. So it’s all this crazy fucking story, it’s an insane story, and it’s obviously really serious, but it’s whimsical. It’s so bizarre, so unique. So is David Lynch…Blue Velvet or Mulholland Drive. It’s like these really serious horror stories, but then there’s always this goofy character that comes out of nowhere for no apparent reason and is like wearing a cowboy hat in a casino. I think Tom Waits is a big influence too for that same kind of reason.

Yeah, just throwing in absurd references in a very serious plot line. I can see that connection for sure. Is there anything recent, like any new films or anything else as of late that’s inspired some new material?

Yeah! I’m really inspired by Kanye West’s mental breakdown in the public eye. It’s extremely inspiring.

Well I’ll be on the look out for the song or songs about that.

I’m also inspired by Britney Spears’ mental breakdown.

You should do like a parallel between the two!

I should! That’s a good idea.

Well I’d love to see what you’d do with it. So talking the headline tour, you mentioned you’ll have more control of the stage. Past times I’ve seen you, you’ve had a piñata and you’ve busted out a recorder to play some tunes. What kind of shenanigans can audiences expect this time around?

We’re gonna be playing some new songs! I may or may not have a new instrument on my pedal board next to my recorder. I actually broke my recorder yesterday so I have a new one.

Oh good, I was gonna say we’d have to bring one to you if not! So a little while back I interviewed Naked Giants and they were saying it’d be fun to start a New West Records super group with you and Ron Gallo…Besides your label mates, is there anyone you’d love to form a collaborative group with?

Oh man! Well besides Lana Del Rey or can I say Lana Del Rey?

You can say Lana!

I’m obsessed with her. I think she’s a genius.

Nice! Anyone else? Let’s say you had to pick at least two people for your hypothetical super group…

I can’t say that. Ok, I just wanna write a song for Lana Del Rey. I actually have written songs for her, but she hasn’t heard them yet. I haven’t sent them to anyone.

But they’re ready and waiting?

They’re ready! They’re pretty good though. So I might use them, but I would love to write a song for her one day. Supergroup though...that’s hard to say! That’s like putting myself on the same level as a lot of the people I admire.

Oh yeah, well don’t even think about it like that, it can be your dream collaboration!

I would say definitely Mitski and St. Vincent.

Oh, that would be amazing.

They really create their own little universe when you see them live, it’s very uniquely their thing.

Very true! So just wrapping up, anything else you’d like to share about the tour coming up or anything else you have planned for the rest of the year?

If there are people who have seen us--we’re just finishing up an opening tour this month--I guess I’d say if anybody hasn’t seen our headlining set, it’s a different experience. We add a lot to it. I’d encourage people to come to the headlining show if they haven’t seen it yet.

There you have it! Keep up with Caroline Rose on Facebook + Twitter + Instagram and snag tickets to the show at Lincoln Hall tonight here.

Get To Know: Slow Pulp

The four members of Madison-based outfit Slow Pulp craft memorable songs with their ability to seamlessly blend dreamy vocals with psychedelic tones, pop melodies, and a dash of cheeky, punk attitude. Since the band self-released EP2 last March, the songs on the EP have made their way onto curated Spotify playlists and collectively racked up over 200,000 plays, standing out among the masses of young, indie bands. And rightfully so; there's something about Slow Pulp that instantly clicks with listeners and fans of live music alike. Their live show captivatingly translates their recorded music to the stage, giving them a magnetic presence. 

This weekend and on select dates in the summer, Slow Pulp with warm up the stage for their friends Post Animal, and it's only a matter of time before they're playing even bigger shows to new audiences across the country. Before they blow up, get to know Slow Pulp first with these five facts we learned while chatting to them at Daytrotter last month!

Slow Pulp is Teddy Matthews, Emily Massey, Henry Stoehr, and Alex Leeds 

Slow Pulp is Teddy Matthews, Emily Massey, Henry Stoehr, and Alex Leeds 

School of Rock Is The Reason They're Playing Music

Well, one of them anyways. Lead singer Emily Massey admits that the Jack Black film is the reason she started taking guitar lessons, but says her past with music stems back to a very early age. "My dad is a musician so I have been playing music and performing for pretty much my whole life," Massey says.  "The first time I sang onstage, I was like one and a half....I don’t remember that. I remember doing a talent show in kindergarten. I really didn’t want to do it, my parents made me do it. I was crying before I went and sang. I sang 'This Little Light of Mine'," she recalls, adding that her dad produced a hip-hop, R&B instrumental track of the song for her to sing along to. Although she initially dreaded it, Massey learned to love performing during that experience. "This was at Emerson Elementary school in Madison, WI. Talent show. Kindergarten. I was five and I had the time of my life playing onstage." 

Guitarist Henry Stoehr says his venture into playing music started a little later than that. "Alex [Leeds] and I were just talking about this earlier actually, but I think it was 6th grade for me. We went to see Modest Mouse in Madison, and this band called Man Man opened for them. I feel like that was the first really strange music I heard, or at least saw live. I don’t know exactly what it did, but I felt like it--I started caring about things I didn’t care about that before," he says. 

Bassist Alex Leeds chimes in, saying the Man Man show created an existential moment for him as well. "It was better than Modest Mouse, it was crazy. I don’t think it made me want to play music... It changed the kind of music that I wanted to make." Leeds continued on, shouting out School of Rock. "I was playing cello in the strings program in my elementary school, and when Jack Black said 'Cello, you’ve got a bass,' I was like that’s what I’m gonna do! Then I got a 2x4 and I put some front marks on it and started practicing some Beatles songs and played in the school show that year on the bass." 

Their Friendship with Post Animal Traces Back to Sixth Grade

Slow Pulp and Post Animal have shared the stage many times, but the friendship roots between some of the band members dig deep. Throughout the course of my talk with Slow Pulp after their show at Daytrotter, members of Post Animal would pop by to chime in. "Six grade chemistry," Post Animal guitarist Javi Reyes interjects; explaining that Leeds, Stoehr, and drummer Teddy Matthews have so much chemistry as a group because they've been playing together since sixth grade. 

That same sense of chemistry transfers to a strong bond with Post Animal, too. "Jake [Hirshland] actually played with one of Henry, Alex and I’s band in high school," Matthews says. Besides playing in bands with each other, the members of both bands also share an instrumental bond. "I gotta give a shout out to my dad...He made Jake Hirshland and Emily’s guitars...and the bass that I play," Leeds says. 

Despite all the history, the current day line up of Slow Pulp actually hasn't been around that long, with Emily Massey being the most recent addition. "It’s been about a year and a half," says Stoehr. "We took this trip to Philly and just played two shows. That was the end of 2016."   

"[After those shows,] they were like wait, Emily is okay. She can stay. I started in this band as rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist. Then it evolved. Now I’m a lead guitarist and vocalist," Massey adds.   

They're Moving To....

Just like their lineup has changed over time, Slow Pulp's home base will soon change. Although they're currently based in Madison, Slow Pulp has already garnered buzz in Chicago by playing shows ranging from DIY gigs at Observatory to support slots at staples around the city, like Beat Kitchen and Lincoln Hall. It won't be long until the group continues to tick off more and more Chicago venues from their list, though, since they're moving here!

"There’s a rumor flying around," says Massey. "It is true. We are moving to Chicago. Over Summer/Fall/Winter," she continues. At the moment, Massey, Matthews, and Stoehr are currently Madison based, while Leeds lives in Minneapolis. Come September, the band will still be somewhat divided, but not for long. "The three of them, Emily, Henry and Alex, are moving to Chicago in September...then I’m still in school til January," says Matthews. 

The band members say they're all excited to be based in one place again by the end of the year, but they still have a lot of love for the Madison music scene. "One thing I was talking about on the way down here about the Madison scene... we were noticing differences between the Madison scene and the Minneapolis scene specifically, but I think it might apply more broadly than that... People, when they come out to shows, in my experience, realize that they’re also performers in that situation. And give a lot to the bands. In Madison," Leeds says. "I love playing in Madison for that reason. It’s a very responsive crowd and we feed off that and off each other. I don’t experience that anywhere else," he continues. 

"It can also change very drastically very fast. It’s like, most of the young people are there for a few years for school. It definitely feels like the music scene changes every few years," Stoehr adds. 

Their Influences Range From St. Vincent to Thee Oh Sees

Slow Pulp possesses a refreshingly unique aura onstage, but they have an array of artists whose stage presence they admire and get inspired by. The group all simultaneously agree on loving the stage presence of TOPS. "I've loved their music for a long time, and when I went to go see them live, I was unsure what to expect, but I was blown away. They have a really cool way of presenting chill music in an exciting way," Leeds says.

"I think mine are maybe Thee Oh Sees cause they’re so nuts. Then Omni because they’re so controlled," Stoehr says. The group also all agree on Omni and Khruangbin as huge inspirations, calling the latter the "psychedelic Preatures."

Lastly, Massey throws out some more inspiration from all across the genre-sphere, starting off with her old pals. "Post Animal! Javier Reyes is my favorite onstage live performer. He goes hard," she says, continuing, "I've seen St. Vincent play, and that was a life changing show. It was so theatrical." She pauses, adding "David Bowie forever!" to round things out. 

They're Also Visual Artists

While making their music, Slow Pulp is usually heavily influenced by tones, colors, and visual art. The link to visual art inspiring their sonic scapes comes from the band members all dabbling in art themselves, and that also comes across clearly in the vision behind their "Preoccupied" music video. 

"We were very involved with it," Massey says about conceptualizing the video, and the band members all explain that they had a fleshed out concept, but the process remained flexible and fluid throughout the day. "We kept coming up with ideas as we were filming," Massey adds, also shouting out their friend and director Damien Blue for helping with vision. 

The band's artistic vision and flexibility to work through ideas transfers into their writing process as well. "I think we definitely talk about music in a visual way, and use visual art that we like as reference points for emotions," Stoehr says. "I think especially with colors. We talk about colors a lot in that way-- And I think we usually get it, in terms of colors...We’ll be like 'I want this song to be brown'," Massey elaborates. 

"I think the way I think of songwriting is pretty similar to painting. At least for me they’re very problem-solving oriented and reacting to what you’ve just done. In a really immediate sense. You kind of just make decisions," Stoehr adds. Even with their somewhat long-distance writing situation, with Leeds residing in Minneapolis, the band say they focus on writing music with their live show in mind. "Even in our current situation, we’re still trying to write songs that are live songs," they say. 

There you have it! As for the new music and material that the band have been working on, they say they still aren't exactly sure when it will be released. At the moment they're working through the different pieces they've created, trying to thread them together in a way that makes the most sense. 

While you wait for this new content, make sure you catch Slow Pulp in concert this summer. See all of their tour dates here, and listen to EP2 in full below! Tickets to their Lincoln Hall show tonight are sold out, but if you got one, get there early for their set!

Get To Know: Yoke Lore

Singer-songwriter, dancer, yogi, artist, and just all around creative person Adrian Galvin (known professionally by his moniker Yoke Lore) has had quite the year so far, and he's only getting started. In addition to releasing his Goodpain EP, Galvin has toured all over the country, recorded an Audiotree session, and had his songs placed in some of your favorite TV shows. He just completed another run with Overcoats after touring with them in the spring, and on Tuesday he'll be at Lincoln Hall with the mellow British duo Aquilo. Before the show, we chatted with Galvin about everything from the process behind his EP, his core beliefs and values, pirates, bookstores, and more! Get familiar with Yoke Lore with these six facts you need to know!

Photo Courtesy of Yoke Lore

Photo Courtesy of Yoke Lore

He's Always Writing

Yoke Lore released a sophomore EP in June this year, as a follow up to 2016's Far Shore EP, but Galvin says his songwriting never really has a set plan. "I'm always writing. It’s a constant process for me, so there isn’t really a time where I’m like 'I’m gonna write an EP' or like 'I’m gonna write an album now.' It’s just kind of what’s happening. [Good Pain] just came together...those are the songs that felt the most...that fit most naturally next to and within one another. It was kind of like a set of ideas that I had for awhile that I wanted to elaborate on and really have to deal with. It was probably a couple months long process, but again the process is kind of on going," he says. 

As far as the recording process, Galvin reveals he went a bit off the grid to knock these songs out. "So we recorded it in Connecticut in this--" he pauses before saying, "It sounds so like dumb and hipster when I say this, but it’s this converted barn. It’s really beautiful, in the middle of nowhere. The middle of the woods. It’s just a really good place to go. When we made Good Pain we didn’t have any internet hooked up yet. We were there for maybe like a week, and we would get internet and phone service when we drove into town, but other than that, we were just in this beautiful studio with an amazing array of instruments. Silly pedals. All kinds of drums and stuff." The huge selection of instruments came into play to help deliver the diverse puzzle pieces on Good Pain; each song weaves its own story with a unique tone and sonic structure, but the individual narratives come together to form a story. 

He Practices Taoism

As fas as what inspires the constant flow of writing from Galvin, he gives some insight on that as well. "I get really inspired by books that I’m reading. I’m a big practitioner of the I-Ching. I'm using a lot of weird words there, but I’m a student of taoism, and I focus on the I-Ching a lot," he begins. "What is’s kind of like the taoist equivalent of like tarot cards or something. You can look it’s an Oracle, is what they call it. It’s a navigation tool. You use it to ask questions. The taoists believe that all life is constant flux. All life is constant change," Galvin continued. "In order to feel okay in an environment of constant flux, you have to be changing as well. So they came up with like 64 different transitions that you could possibly be going through at any different moment, and they like mapped them out. So they wrote them all down, and you throw these coins and you build a hexagram with these coin throws, and you end up with one of these 64 transitions. Then you look it up and read about it and figure out where you’re going," he added. 

Galvin also says that while he uses these beliefs to guide him in life, he also uses them to guide his art. "I use it to really like find and map out and follow movements in myself and in my writing. I think the ideas that it contains really inspire me. The idea of constant flux and figuring that out...I’m pretty sure that’s where every belief system begins. With the idea that 'this sucks, how do we figure it out?' I know that’s where Buddhism starts. The first noble truth of Buddhism is that all life is suffering. They’re like 'this sucks'. They don’t hold back. Even if you think about it, the same thing as’s original sin. Blanket statement: 'This sucks, where do we go from here'?" he says. 

Although one of Galvin's biggest outpour of creativity comes in the form of song, he's also creative in other ways, and still pulls from his beliefs to be inspired in that work. Talking more about his passion for visual art as well, Galvin says, "I think I’ve always kind of been into it all. I’m a dancer. I have a dance company. I’m a yoga teacher. Obviously I play music, but I think that this is where music schools go wrong. And they try to make musicians by only focusing on music. To me that’s like the opposite of the point. The opposite of what we’re trying to do here. Everything else enriches everything else. If I want to be a better musician, I’m not just gonna try to be really good at playing chords. I’m going to find out the things that inspire me, and go figure those things out. The dance that I do and the movement with my body really helps me navigate my body onstage and makes me a better performer. The drawing kind of gives me these little like maps to follow that kind of like help me being to figure out where I am and where these songs are going for me. I think it all enriches every other part of it. I don’t think I could do just the one thing. It would feel incomplete, whatever it was." 

Bookstores Are His Favorite Tour Pitstops

While Galvin's art is inspired by his other art, he also looks for other sources of enlightenment. Since he recently stopped over during the summer after performing with Overcoats in May, I asked Galvin to share some of his favorite spots around our city. "I do love Chicago. What’s that bookstore? Myopic Books! It’s a really great place. I spent a couple hours in that place last time I was in Chicago, after our Audiotree session, which was at like 10 in the morning. After an all night drive we parked ourselves in this bookstore and zoned out for a couple hours. I always try to find a really good bookstore in a lot of cities. It’s one of my favorite things to do," he says. 

As far as his other favorite stops in Chicago, Galvin says, "I went to the Carhartt store, which is down the road from that, which I fucking loved. It’s rare to find a whole store. I’m a big fan of Carhartt, which is this kind of industrial clothing brand. A lot of constructions workers wear it, but they make the best stuff because it wears so well. It breaks apart so nicely!"

He's A History Buff

In addition to reading books on the road, Galvin enriches his mind by listening to podcasts that are equal parts entertaining and educational. In the realm of educational podcasts, Galvin loves learning about history. "We don’t really listen to music at all. I guess I listen to music if I’m like in a venue or before a show by myself, but in the car on these long drives, we’ve gotten really into these long form history podcasts. There’s this dude Dan Carlin, who is the godfather of history podcasting. One of the most brilliant dudes I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. He goes into such fanatical detail about historical events that you could just listen to for hours on end," he says. "We’ve gone through his entire catalog at this point, so we’ve used him up. We’re on episode 90 of the "History of Rome" right now, which we’re gonna continue on from our last tour. We’re just getting into it...the History of Rome is like 300 episodes or something, so we’re just getting through the Caesars and it’s just about to get good," Galvin continues.

While most people might get that "tour brain" when everything sort of becomes autopilot for them, Galvin seizes the opportunity to stay on his toes. "I love making tour into an intellectual experience. When I can make these long drives into history lessons, it makes tour so much nicer. It keeps me stimulated. It keeps me guessing," he adds. By listening to so many history podcasts, Galvin has also been able to throw out random facts and trivia knowledge...especially about Pirate vernacular. "We were listening to the History of Pirates actually. There’s this vernacular that you find in the English language that’s just like Pirate Speak. They used to whip sailors who were not obeying their orders. They used this whip called the "Cat of 9 Tails", which was a whip with 9 strings, with either little knots or rocks or a piece of metals at the edge or their strings. Really terrible thing. You didn’t want to get whipped with the Cat of 9 Tails. So the Captain or the First Mate who would do the whipping, would leave the whip in a bloody bag on the deck. Everyone was like don’t fuck up, don’t let the cat out of the bag. There’s so many things like that," he revealed. The more you know...

Most of His Songs Have Two Sides to Them

Some of the best songs that can stand the test of time are those that can stand out even when they're completely stripped back. On the recorded version of Yoke Lore's Goodpain EP, there's layers and layers that come together to form the finished product, but the songs Galvin writes always begin with the bare bones. However, some lucky fans get the chance to absorb that first step of the process depending on the live setting they catch Yoke Lore. Talking about his recent stop in Chicago this summer to do an Audiotree session and a Sofar Sounds show, Galvin says, "Audiotree was a full set, but we had to drive through the night to make it to that. We were driving from Denver the night before. Then we played a Sofar in Philly too." For the Sofar Sounds performances in Chicago and Philadelphia, Galvin performed a solo set with just his banjo. "I really like the acoustic thing because it’ music is very big and expansive sounding. There’s a lot of like synths and sweeps and stuff, and it’s nice to just pair it down and really give people what I wrote in my bedroom like a year ago. I like that I can offer both iterations, and I think that both iterations are meaningful and have value in their own way," he adds. 

Being able to have a strong acoustic and raw version of a song, in addition to an organic sounding song that's been fully produced actually proves to be quite rare these days. "I think it’s like a test of a good performer who can perform without any bullshit. And I think it’s a test of a good song that you can play it with just one instrument and it can still be a good song," Galvin concurred. However, it still surprises people to see a Yoke Lore song done with just a banjo. Laughing, Galvin says,"I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gotten up there and people are like 'whoa you play the banjo?!'"

He's Friends With Tourmates, Overcoats

Besides educating himself and being a multidimensional performer, Galvin admits his tour mates are also a huge part of being out of the road. Talking about the best friend pairing behind Overcoats, Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell, Gavin gushes, "I fucking love those girls so much my gosh. They’re the best. We toured with them whenever it was earlier this year. We had an amazing time with them!" 

Thinking back on his first run with Overcoats, Galvin added, "I love their music so much. We had a great time with them. We had a little bit of a rough tour the first leg cause we did a leg in the midwest, and a leg on the west coast. It was just spring...seasons were changing, and we were just sick. We were all just dying. Then we all started getting injured. This one morning I had this cough I couldn’t shake, and I was like fuck it, let’s go to Urgent Care and get me some antibiotics so I can kick this thing. So we get to the Urgent Care, we get the antibiotics and we call the girls to meet up for brunch, and they were like 'Actually we can’t we’re at Urgent Care, Hannah hurt her foot last night!' We were like what?! We’re at Urgent Care!" Even through the rough times, Galvin says he and the Overcoats crew had a great time in general.

There you have it! To witness the magic of a Yoke Lore performance, find information on all upcoming tour dates here, and grab tickets to Tuesday's Lincoln Hall show here. Get ready for the show by listening to Goodpain in full below!

A Chat With: The Dig

You might best know New York's The Dig by their relaxed rock tune "I Already Forgot Everything You Said" off their 2012 album Midnight Flowers, but the quartet made up of two singers and three songwriters have a dynamic and expansive music catalog under their belt, including the 2017 album Bloodshot Tokyo. The latest album stays true to their laid back and grooving melodies, but also explores different moods and tones to deliver diversity across the 11 tracks. Band members David Baldwin, Emile Mosseri, Erick Eiser, and Mark Demiglio are currently out on the road in support of the newest album, and they'll be in Chicago this Friday. Before the tour stops at Lincoln Hall, we chatted with one of the band's singers and songwriters David Baldwin, all about the tour, new music and more! If you want to know about The Dig's collaborative writing process, which books they're reading, how they feel about pumpkin spiced drinks and pineapple on pizza, check out our chat with The Dig!

Photo Credit: Olivia McManus

Photo Credit: Olivia McManus

ANCHR Magazine: Congratulations on the newest album Bloodshot Tokyo, which you released earlier this year! How was this album different from past work, in terms of the writing and recording scope?

David Baldwin: Thanks, we appreciate that.  Probably the biggest difference between this album and our past work was our overall approach.  We went into this one with way more songs to choose from than we ever had before.  In the past we'd always had to balance writing the music with booking tours, self-managing, etc.  This time around we decided to put all of that on hold and do nothing but write songs for a couple of years.  I think we grew a lot as songwriters in that time and naturally a new kind of sound evolved.

AM: What challenges do you encounter with having multiple songwriters in the band? On the flip side, what do you find rewarding about being able to collaborate on the writing rather than having one person do it all? 

DB: The biggest challenge we face having multiple songwriters in the band is allowing space for a singular vision to find its way onto a record.  You always know that every idea, every lyric is going to have to make it through the committee, and we've talked about how we always have each other in our heads while we're writing.  One of us might be alone writing a song and think, oh so and so won't like this because it leans to heavily toward one style or another.  So keeping the edges of a singular vision from being shaved off can be a challenge.  

On the flip side, because we've been writing songs together for so long, we speak the same musical language.  I think this helps the most in finishing songs that one person may have started but couldn't quite see all the way through on their own.  If you feel like you're stuck with a song but you're excited about what's there, you know you can bring it in to the rest of the band and someone will come up with something cool that you never would have thought of.  We've also noticed that the songs of ours that people seem to respond to the most are usually the ones that were the most collaborative.

AM: Which songs from the new record are you most excited about playing when you’re on the road in the fall?

DB: We have a hoot playing all the songs, but some live favorites in no particular order are "Pool of Rotting Water", "Jet Black Hair", "Bleeding Heart", and "Self Made Man."

AM: How do you guys usually pass time when you’re on the road? What are your favorite podcasts, books, and other ways to stay entertained? 

DB: We usually just blab away at each other and make Instagram stories.  But a good Marc Maron will get you clear through Nebraska.  Some Norm Macdonald standup will do ya.  We all try to read on the road from keeping Tour Brain from setting in.  Notes From The Underground, Tortilla Flat, Ta-Nehisi Coates' new piece The First White President have made up some of the recent tour readings.

AM: In the past you’ve thrown black wigs out at your shows before you played “Jet Black Hair.” Do you have anything special like that up your sleeves for the upcoming tour?

DB: We do have a little something up our sleeves.  It's called our Total Request Hotline.  The number is 347-422-6434, and you can call it to request a song all throughout the tour.  Doesn't necessarily mean we'll play it, but you can still give it a shot.  In fact, a nice gentlemen named Harrison called it today to make a request for our Chicago show. 

AM: Since you’ve been a band for several years now, what would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned a musician?  

DB: To make what you want to hear and not worry about the stuff you can't control.  But that's easier said than done. 

AM: What have you learned about each other from knowing each other and working together for so long? 

DB: We learned that when one person makes a joke and it gets a laugh, everyone in the band has to go around and repeat it at least once.

AM: I heard that you and Emile used to play in a Rage Against The Machine Cover band back in the day. If you were to form a new cover band today, which band/artist would you cover exclusively and what would the band name be?  

DB: Would have to go with a surf-rock band that does instrumental versions of C.C.R. songs.  We would name it The Loose Screws.  

AM: Who are some of your favorite new artists at the moment, or new music from more established artists that you can’t stop listening to?

DB: Kendrick Lamar, Queens of The Stone Age,  Angel Olsen to name a few.  

AM: Besides the tour, what else are you looking forward to for the remainder of the year?

DB: We're looking forward to keeping the writing going when we get home, and also to some new things we have coming out in the near future.  

AM: Also, as a bonus question, I thought we could play  “Dig or Ditch,” a cheesy game I made up that’s a lightning round of a few polarizing topics/items. If you like it, say dig, or if you hate it, say ditch. 

  • Pineapple on pizza: dig or ditch? Dig
  • Cilantro: dig or ditch?  Dig
  • Watching the previews at the movies: dig or ditch?  When thinking about it, Ditch.  But when it's happening, Dig.
  • Coffee: dig or ditch? Dig but fantasize about ditching.
  • Scary movies: dig or ditch?  Dig
  • Pumpkin flavored food/beverages: dig or ditch?  Dig
  • Nutella: dig or ditch?  Ditch
  • Country music: dig or ditch?  Dig.
  • Spicy food: dig or ditch?   Dig
  • Snowy days: dig or ditch?  Dig

Now that you know more about the band, go see The Dig with Dan Croll at Lincoln Hall this Friday...grab your tickets here before they sell out. Make sure to also call their Total Request Hotline to request your favorite song!

If you're not in Chicago, you can also check out all of The Dig's upcoming tour dates here, and get ready for the show by listening to Bloodshot Tokyo in full below!

A Chat With: Julia Jacklin

Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin has had a year as incredible as the songs she writes...releasing her debut album, touring nonstop, and being announced on massive festival lineups all over the world, like Glastonbury and Spendour In The Grass. Her music blends her rich and haunting vocals with retro-tinged folk music, and a pinch of twang. In the midst of her current North American tour, Julia took some time to chat with us about her first album and what's in store for her this year. Get to know Julia Jacklin now before she takes summer 2017 by a storm.

Thumbnail Photo Credit: Scarlett Mckee

Photo Credit: Nick McKinley

Photo Credit: Nick McKinley

ANCHR Magazine: Congrats on releasing your debut album last year... it’s a big accomplishment! What have been some highlights for you since you’ve released it?

Julia Jacklin:  I’ve kind of been on tour since I released it. So I’ve done a lot of things. Playing music festivals has been cool. We’s a pretty big bill back home, it’s a festival called Laneway Festival. We got to do that, which was like a teenage dream come true. We did Tiny Desk two days ago, which was also on the list of dreams.

AM: Cool! Talking more about your music, you wrote, starred in, and directed the video for “Leadlight." Was that your first experience directing?

JJ: The first one I did was “Pool Party” actually. I released that quite a long time before I released the record. That was my first experience, just kind of coming from having to make it work. I needed a music video and had to make it happen.

AM: Do you have any interest or background with films, or was it really that you just needed someone to direct it and stepped into that role yourself?

JJ: I definitely have an interest...I definitely have a lot to learn in that regards. I’m a person who has grown up watching many things. It’s something that I ended up really enjoying, but honestly it wasn’t like an “Oh, I really want to do this all on my own.” It was like I just had to do it.

AM: Do you have any all-time favorite music videos that you were inspired by when you were planning what you were going to do for your own music videos?

JJ: Probably my favorite is a Grimes clip, called “Oblivion.” Have you seen that one, where she’s in like a football field? It’s really cool. I wish it was my music video.

AM: Cool! So then as far as the live show, what have been some of your favorite songs from the album to play live since you’ve played a bunch of shows since the release? Are there any that have sort of changed and transformed in the live sense?

JJ: Yeah, they’ve all kind of changed over time. They’re quite a lot bigger than on the record now. I’ve kind of had a few---just cause I’m touring a lot in many different places, I’ve had a few line up changes in the band. That’s always changing the songs in a way. I definitely hated a couple of songs a few months ago and now I’m enjoying them. It kind of changes all the time. I’ve been really enjoying playing “Leadlight” lately. Which I was always really scared of for some reason. It was always the one song in the set that I was thinking I was gonna screw up.

AM: So you’ve had a few different line up changes with touring different countries. What’s the current set up on this tour?

JJ: I’ve got Eddie from back home. He’s played with me the whole time. Then I have Ian and Ben from Toronto, who joined a couple of weeks ago. They are fantastic. We’ve been really getting to know each other.

AM: Nice! Any random outings or fun stories from this tour so far?

JJ: It's been a very chill tour so far. The whole first part was driving up the west coast of America, and getting to see the Red Woods. Like staying in really secluded Air BnBs, and just feeling like a real tourist for once. Instead of like a really tired musician just coming in and out of cities and never really seeing anything. I felt like I really got to see some of America this time.

AM: Any cities coming up that you’re excited to go to on this tour?

JJ: We’re going to a few places on this tour we’ve never been to, like Raleigh and Atlanta. So I’m just keen to see what the deal is, what’s going on. I’m pretty excited about playing in New Orleans. I’ve been there a few times as a backpacker, just wandering around, soaking it all in. It’s a nice turn of life events that I’m gonna play there.

AM: That should be great. I hear a lot of musicians say they like playing there because the crowd is really receptive.

JJ: Totally, yeah.

AM: Have there been any culture shocks for you playing in America? It sounds like you’ve been here before even as a backpacker, but anything being a musician that is completely different here than back home?

JJ: It's very different to back home, as there’s so many more cities and venues to play. In Australia it’s like you tour for a week and you’ve pretty much covered it. Really long distances between places as well, and you have to fly. That’s super different- being in a new place every four hours that seems to have a pretty different culture, like food-wise and the music scene seems to change a lot between each state. It’s a completely different experience than back home. It kind of feels like you’re in different countries every couple of days.

AM: What’s been the most surprising show, like where the crowd or city was different to what you thought it would be like?

JJ: We just played in Montreal actually, and that was quite different to what I was expecting. Just a very a vocally appreciative crowd. They were yelling a lot at me, but nice things. Kind of throughout the whole set. They were really into it.

AM: So kind of circling back, do you have anyone who inspired you to start making music? Both musical and nonmusical, what first inspired you to start writing and playing an instrument?

JJ: I guess my friend to be honest. My friend Liz, who I got to know when I was 18. She was a massive fan of like Annie DiFranco and she had a classical guitar. She used to do really cool finger picking, and I was like I really want to be just like you. So I bought a classical guitar and started doing exactly what she was doing. We still play music together. She’s been the biggest thing for me in the beginning. The first band I was in was with her, and she’s just someone I really looked up to.

AM: Very cool. So are there any new albums or bands that you’re listening to a lot?

JJ: I’ve been listening to Mitski’s new record a lot. That’s been a big favorite. I’ve just discovered Cass McCombs. I’m very late to the bandwagon on that, but I’ve been enjoying listening.

AM: So then last thing, you’re on the Splendour in the Grass line up. It’s a big Australian festival and your first time playing it right?

JJ: Yeah the first time, it feels really good.

AM: Awesome, so anyone else on the line up you’re hoping to check out?

JJ: Well we have to fly straight to LA to play FYF Fest. So it’s one of those things where it’s like oh cool there’s all these great people playing, but we have to play and leave straight away to get to the airport. Which is usually the case it seems with music festivals once you start playing them. So I’m choosing not to look at the lineup and when people play so I don’t get disappointed.

AM: Anything else you’re looking forward to this year?

JJ: We’re moving to Spain in a month, doing the European Festival circuit, doing like Green Man, Glastonbury, and Primavera. So I’m really looking forward to that. Summer time festival life.

AM: Very cool. Are you writing new material on tour?

JJ: Yeah I have been. We had quite a lot of down time at the beginning of this tour, so hopefully I’ll have something new soon.

Follow along with all things tour and other updates from Julia here.  Chicago, you can see Julia Jacklin with Andy Shauf this Saturday, May 13th. Grab tickets to their show at Lincoln Hall here, and get ready for the show by listening to Julia's debut album below!