Stream: Singles from Yoke Lore, Mapache, Johanna Samuels and Dylan Rodrigue

Yoke Lore (Photo by Cooper Baumgartner)

Catching up with the latest songs from Yoke Lore, Mapache, Johanna Samuels and Dylan Rodrigue

YOKE LORE, “Winona”

Banjo-pickin’, synth-brandishing, wild-dancing indie-pop guy Adrian Galvin has released a slew of EPs, singles and remixes since 2016, and now as the New York native pauses between tours, here’s “Winona.” Yoke Lore’s songs connect with touchy-feely lyrics and outsized choruses, and “Winona” is exemplary. “A lot of big questions can be answered with love, and I am the only thing that usually stands in the way of resolution,” Galvin says. “‘Winona’ is a song about me being my own worst enemy. Strengths tweaked into weaknesses. It’s a celebration of our humanity being all that stands in the way of our divinity. It’s a wailing for the destruction of an illusion. It’s a rage against the dying of a former self. It’s a longing for a way forward in which you don’t have to dynamite a highway to get through a heart.” Yoke Lore’s tour brings him to the Fonda Theatre on Sept. 15 for a show with Girlhouse.

MAPACHE, “People Please”

Cosmic folk duo Mapache (Sam Blasucci and Clay Finch, now with drummer Steve Didelot) have announced the Aug. 18 arrival of their fifth album, “Swinging Stars,” produced and engineered by Dan Horne and out via Innovative Leisure. Introductory single “People Please” sounds like a blast from the “After the Gold Rush” past, not to mention a swipe at religiosity. “The river flows with poison wine / You take a sip it feels so divine / People please it’s not the way / You must believe the black and the gay.” Says the band: “Some people talk your life into a corner in the name of god or religion, but you can talk your life back with whatever vocabulary you feel inside. It’s just about playing how you feel.”


The follow-up to “Ugly on the Inside” and “Holy Mothers,” “Golden Gate” is the third single from Johanna Samuels’ sophomore album, “Bystander,” out June 23. Produced by Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman), “Bystander” grapples with isolation through a series of character studies of sometimes rooted in some geographical place. “Golden Gate,” she says, “is a true quarantine artifact. I was playing and writing frequently in that period and I fell in love with the chords and song structure. I was really blocked when it came to the words that were wanting to come out. I felt very disconnected. I knew I wanted it to have some Dylan Rodrigue life breathed into it. He is one of my all time favorite writers in Los Angeles right now. He wrote the lyrics extremely quickly and wildly enough it was about exactly what I thought it was about: dissociation, numbness and weightlessness in the darkness.” Samuels celebrates her album release with a show July 8 at Zebulon.


Speaking of Dylan Rodrigue, earlier this month the L.A. singer-songwriter-producer, and a purveyor of beautifully shambling melancholy in the vein of Vic Chesnutt and Elliott Smith, released the new single “Goodbye.” It’s the follow-up to his 2022 full-length “(The Birds Are Still Singing),” which we admittedly slept on but will make up for on the very next Bandcamp Friday. “Goodbye” was conceived in the aftermath of the passing of Rodrigue’s father in 2019. “The song, to me, feels like a brief snapshot of the grieving process,” says Rodrigue. “I was thinking about the many ways in which we cope with loss: indulging in vices, acting irrationally and feeling a general lack of purpose in life. Strangely, it’s the act of creating the music that seems to regain that sense of purpose for myself. Pain and suffering are inevitable, yet it’s possible to transform all of that garbage into something new; something that transcends the negativity it was derived from.”