Standard Sounds

Annie O Presents: Yoke Lore

We have a secret weapon at The Standard in the form of a French-Moroccan music maven named Annie O. After years in the music industry representing greats like Lou Reed, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, and Peter Gabriel, we nabbed her to curate The Annie O Music Series, a regular concert series in the airy Penthouse of The Standard, East Village.

On Monday, November 28thAnnie O is bringing Yoke Lore to The Penthouse for an intimate performance. The two got together to talk the new album, spirituality, and what to expect on the big night. 

Annie O Presents: Yoke Lore
Monday, November 28, 8:30-10pm
The Standard, East Village Penthouse
Free with an RSVP to

Tell us a little bit about your upcoming EP and some of its themes?

Far Shore is about human connection. Being the first offering from Yoke Lore, it has to do with the things that bind people and things together. A yoke is something that holds two things together. I'm interested in finding more ways and materials to bind things with. And the title, Far Shore, comes from taoism. Knowledge of the far shore is a kind of nirvana or heavenly state. I'm of the opinion that we obtain knowledge of the far shore through one another and how we connect. 
What was the recording process like? 
It was my friends and I in several different living rooms and other home studio incarnations. I had a couple different producers who are also two of my best friends, Ariel Loh and Andrew D'Amico, help me make the EP. I like working with people close to me. It keeps things intimate, personal, and communal. 

How do you write a song?
I kind of think I stumble upon songs rather than write them. Making art for me is more discovery than invention. Things are a certain way one moment, and then, BAM—they’re a different way, and you should write about it. I like to think of songwriting as hiking, maybe following a trail of breadcrumbs. I usually have a melody that’s been kicking around my head, and I kind of sing it until it takes me somewhere. I keep following it. 
We loved watching your impressive rollerblading skills in the video for "Hold Me Down." Do you have any other hidden talents?
I have a dance company called Boomerang. It’s not so hidden...we're pretty raucous. Check it out here.

You have a deep interest in spirituality. How can you compare this to your relationship with music?

I don't see them as very different. I treat spirituality as a way of living, making, loving, eating. In the Bible, there is no word for "religion." It’s just supposed to be a way of remembering yourself. Music is a way I work through my devotion to myself, to the people I love, and to the concepts I see as true. I write about what I think is real and valuable. A song shouldn't be too far from a sermon. It is there to guide the people. 
What's your favorite thing about New York?
The secret gardens.
Are there any specific tracks by other artists that you have on repeat right now?
Hospitality - "Going Out"
Chavela Vargas - "Somos"
Lost Under Heaven - "I&I"
If Yoke Lore had a superpower, what would it be?
The power of adhesive.  
What can we expect from your performance at The Annie O Music Series?
Well, you get Angelo and me in all of our sweat/scream/bang/love festivities, moments of intimacy, and moments of aggression. It's real. I hope you like it.
What's next?
Touring with Handsome Ghost in December, and then it’s Hanukkah!

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