Piecing together her coming of age story through the contents of her debut EP, Yorke has welcomed listeners into a world of self reflection and a eagerness for growth.
‘Liberosis’ celebrates the little moments in time while she experiences first loves, first heartbreaks and ponders a profound understanding of the world.
Over the past year and a half she set the foundations for this journey with a string of singles including the vulnerable ‘First Light’, the anthemic ‘Wake The City’, the viral hit ‘Thought I Could’ and the brooding moody palette of ‘Treading Water’. And now the final chapters of this story have been added to give listeners a full circle synergy.
Hitting the road with the likes of Lewis Capaldi, Ruel and Jack Gray, the Byron Bay singer-songwriter has been continually growing her live show and finding her feet as a performer. With a string of headline shows on the horizon, she’s ready to showcase what she’s learnt and experiment with her delivery.
I recently caught up with Yorke to chat about what the collection of songs that make up her debut EP ‘Liberosis’ means to her, explore the creative process behind songs like ‘Promise’, ‘Nights We Waste’ and ‘Don’t Let The Lights Go Out’ and discuss how she wants to continually grow her live show. Check out the chat HERE;
THOMAS BLEACH: Your debut EP ‘Liberosis’ is a bold introduction to who you are as an artist and highlights so many different emotions within the lyrics. But how would you personally describe this collection and what it means to you?
YORKE: For me it’s a collection of coming of age songs. It’s the transition between being a teenager and heading into adulthood. It seems like a real chapter of my life in the most honest way and sums a lot about growing up for me.
TB: What inspired the title of the EP?
Y: Well I saw it written down in a book a couple of years ago and I wrote it down in my notes at the time because I thought it had a really beautiful meaning. And then we were trying to pick songs for the EP and I realised that they all kind of fitted the same theme, so it all sort of clicked into place.
TB: Oh, what does Liberosis actually mean?
Y: It’s a latin word that means an ache to let things go and a desire to care less about things. So I think all of the songs on the EP relate to that sentiment in a different way.
TB: ‘Promise’ is a very theatrical introduction to the EP and embodies a significantly bold production. So can you step me through the creative process of how this track came together?
Y: The song is actually about Caledon Hockey’s perspective in the Titanic. So he was with this girl called Rose who he loses to Jack. And I hadn’t actually seen The Titanic before but my producer Xavier Dunn was playing these really crazy strings chords and it just felt like we were in a movie. So we started drafting storylines and came up with this concept to reflect on the villains perspective because that’s not actually talked about much.
I just researched the movie and characterisation online just like you would with an assignment and then wrote the song.
TB: Did you end up watching the movie after you wrote the song?
Y: I have! And I cried, a lot. But it’s funny because the song seemed to make more sense to me after I watched the movie which is kinda strange.
TB: ‘Nights We Waste’ is a song that sonically sits somewhere between Lorde and Taylor Swift. So what were your sonical references for this song and the EP?
Y: We tried not to have too many sonical references over having typical things that made a Yorke song so original. So that is things like having a dramatic core, big drums, live instruments and having big piano chords. These are things that just become apart of the Yorke sound over time.
But I definitely think at the time I was smashing a lot of Lorde, Sigrid and all the pop things because I just love pop music a lot.
TB: You’ve previously stated that ‘Don’t Let The Lights Go Out’ is the most vulnerable track on the EP, so why does this song feel like the most raw for you?
Y: I feel like the production is very restrained. I’ve also played the song a lot acoustically, especially on the Ruel tour, and everyone would turn their phone lights on and the room would go silent. It made the song more emotional to me as it felt like they were truly listening to what I was saying.
It’s one of the most personal songs to me lyrically. And Lanks is an incredible storyteller so I think he helped me bring the best out of the song.
TB: What is your favourite lyric from the song?
Y: It’s probably “you’re turning shades of pink and red” because I just think that’s a really nice image.
TB: As you just mentioned before, you collaborated with Lanks on ‘Don’t Let The Lights Go Out’ so how did this pairing come together and how did the collaborative experience look like?
Y: It pretty much came together by the mutual nature that we both have wanted to work together for a while.
We wrote it in this tiny studio room in Sydney and we hadn’t met before but we still managed to write the song super quickly. It was super natural but it’s interesting because the initial demo was really sonically different to the final product. It was more acoustic and less produced.
TB: Over the past twelve months you’ve toured with the likes of Lewis Capaldi, Ruel and Jack Gray, as well as doing some of your own headline shows. So reflecting on your touring experiences, what has been the most challenging thing you’ve had to overcome while on the road or on the stage?
Y: The Lewis Capaldi shows were really overwhelming because I hadn’t played a show in about six months and I only found out pretty last minute that I was opening for him. So I had to really get my shit together and just give everything as it was such a huge opportunity.
It also encouraged me to let go onstage I think as I’ve never really had a big enough stage to walk around. But it came really naturally I think.
TB: With the EP now out in the world, what’s the biggest thing you want to work on for your forthcoming live shows?
Y: I want to definitely work on making it as sonically cohesive as the EP is. I want to bring it together with different ways of tieing together tracks and storylines, as well as upping the production value.
TB: Your single ‘Thought I Could’ has surpassed 1.2 million streams on Spotify alone. Have you had time to comprehend that yet?
Y: I actually haven’t looked in a while, so that’s actually insane! I didn’t know that!
It’s so exciting that people really connected with that song because I think looking back at the body of work as a whole, it has to be my favourite song and definitely means so much to me.
TB: Have you heard any of your songs played in really weird places?
Y: Yeah! I actually heard it on a plane once. It was funny because I was actually boarding the flight and it came on as I was walking to my seat.
I was in the last row so I had to walk past everyone and while no one knew it was me I couldn’t help but slightly freak out. It was surreal but cool.
TB: You’re releasing this EP in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. So why do you think it’s so important for artists to keep releasing music during this time. Because there is a big debate within the industry whether releases should continue as normal?
Y: As a listener I think exactly what I need right now is new music. When I see artists that I love announcing that they are releasing music during this time, it honestly makes me so happy as it gives me something to look forward to. I think it’s so important to keep giving that to people as they are going to need it to get through this. I see it as a form of escapism.
‘Liberosis’ is out now on all streaming and digital services