VIDEO PREMIERE: YORKE – “FIRST LIGHT”
photos / Max Fairclough
20-year-old singer-songwriter Yorke is a musical wunderkind of the most delicate proportions. The Aussie born and raised artist has been writing music for over half her life and somewhat a local hero in her hometown of Byron Bay.
Yorke arrives on the music scene with an earnest honesty and vulnerability that lays a solid groundwork for her introspective vocals, carefully-crafted deep keyed melodies and infectious pop hooks. Yorke has a way of taking the listener on a vivid first-person narrative of emotions and experiences that become universal.
‘First Light,’ is her wonderful first offering under Island Records Australia. It’s a sing-along, loud and hard, in the car late at night sort of song, circling the block until you are ready to climb into bed and face the nights’ dreams. It’s a song that is the perfect soundtrack for the nostalgia and repair of a heart broken by the weight of life.
Yorke says of the song, ” It’s an acknowledgment that everyone is struggling with something that they may or may not want to open up about, but strength comes in numbers. It is hard to open up to your loved ones, but the key to friendship is support, whether it is blatant or unspoken.”
We get to know the Aussie songstress and premiere the delicate moving video for “First Light” today.
You’re from Byron Bay but took your name from New York City – two very different places – How do these two places play into your music and lyrics?
I did! I was originally born in Sydney so I’ve had a love for cities ever since I can remember. I love Byron but I guess you always want what you can’t have. I first visited New York when I was about 10 and have been really inspired by it ever since.
In my opinion, both places infuse elements of my sound. The production is big, sweeping and vivid. Quite emotive but powerful. I try to create a soundscape where you notice new elements with each listen. This, in my opinion, is akin to the things I feel when in NYC.
However, I try to keep my lyrics and themes really relatable. Pretty down to earth. I think this is where growing up in a small town like Byron has influenced my music. In a place like NY, sometimes it can feel like you’re just one of the masses, but in a small town, everyone knows everyone. You become really entwined in each others lives without meaning to be. I think this has influenced my writing to become quite intimate and really honest.
What should LADYGUNN readers know about Yorke?
I’m twenty years old, I have an unhealthy obsession with avocados and I hiccup a lot.
“First Light” touches on themes of love + self-care. How are these themes important to your life and writing-process?
On the day I wrote First Light, I didn’t really have any intention of writing a song that hit so close to home. At the time, I was struggling with a few things, and I often found that many of the people around me were using me as someone to talk to (which wasn’t a bad thing). I just had to learn to balance coping with my own headspace, whilst being as strong as I could be for my friends/family.
During the session, I opened up to the producer (ChrIs Collins) about what was going on, and the song was written really quickly. One of the things I love about song writing is the ability to write the song you need to hear, without realising that you needed to get it out in the open.
Tell us about the “First Light” music video. Where did the inspiration come from and how do you hope people feel when they watch it?
It was really important to me that for the debut music video, that viewers are able to get to know me and my personality. Although the song itself has heady themes, I didn’t want this to overrule the sense of optimism that is present. I think integrating some footage of me messing around in the city displays this balance, which is life itself. I hope people can relate to this, and it can bring even more meaning to the song and its message.
This is your first single. Do you see yourself playing with your sound on future songs?
Definitely! Obviously being a debut single, it was important to still allow room to grow and mature. As I keep working on honing my craft, my sound will natural develop too. Exciting times.
What’s your dream festival or show to play? Who else would be performing?
Damn, this is a hard one! Maybe Coachella or Lollapalooza. Would be pretty cool to share a line up with amazing artists such as Charli XCX, Maggie Rogers, Lana Del Ray or Lorde… or even maybe the Foo Fighters?
What did you listen to as a teenager?
Huge range of things – Taylor Swift, Catfish, and the Bottlemen, Banks, Broods, Vera Blue, Lorde, Kita Alexander Powderfinger, Jeff Buckley, Queen…the list goes on.
Who are the artists out there right now that make you proud to be a musician?
There are so many artists out there at the moment who are absolutely killing the game… It is such an inspiring time to be an artist in my opinion.
Gang of Youths would probably be my top pick. They’re all so incredibly talented and have worked so hard to get where they are. I recently saw them live and was blown away. The story behind their successes makes it even more remarkable.
This is your first single, what can we expect from future music?
One of the main reasons I chose Yorke as a name was I always find it intriguing how everyone who visits New York gets something so different out of the experience – and I wanted to be able to emulate this through my music. This is only a taste of what is to come for Yorke, and that is probably what is most exciting for me at the moment. Expect cinematic indie pop that makes you feel too much.
If you could manifest your perfect life as a musician – what would it look like?
Internationally recognized, being able to play large venues worldwide where every single person knows the words to my songs. I’d love to create a show that is more of an experience than just a band playing, and I’d be able to play a string instrument of some sort at some point (maybe Viola?).
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