Indie-pop sensation, Yorke, has quickly become one of our favourite emerging singer-songwriters — and with good reason. The twenty-year-old Byron Bay native, who has been writing songs for over ten years, offers a beautifully honest snapshot of her life through intimate lyrics, carefully-crafted melodies and spacious pop hooks. Her debut single, 'First Light', has gained over 600k streams and been featured on various official Spotify playlists including New Music Friday and New Pop Sounds.
Yorke recently released her second single and its accompanying video, 'Wake The City'. Co-written and produced by Andy Mak (Vera Blue, Bertie Blackman), the track is about disempowerment in a relationship and how often that begs the question of whether to sacrifice who you are or to appease your partner.
The stunning video for 'Wake The City', which has already racked up 20.5K views on YouTube, was directed by Charli Burrowes (MeOhMy) and filmed in various locations around Brisbane. Beautifully shot Yorke says, “The song itself means so much to me that I wanted to create something really vulnerable and raw. The director, Charli worked closely with me to maintain the sincerity of the track through the beautiful cinematography and locations. I feel it really brought the song to life."
Check out the exclusive behind the scenes video for Wake The City below!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and what path led you to music?
I’m Yorke – I’m 20 and my two other favourite things besides writing music are animals and food. I started writing songs when I was about 8, which was the same time I’d starting piano lessons. I’d always loved to sing growing up, but once I had a knowledge of chords and stuff I just gravitated towards song-writing as a form to express myself. I think I just came home from school one day and was bored, so I wrote a song and haven’t stopped since.
For those who haven’t listened to your music before, how would you describe your sound?
Emotional, cinematic indie pop.
Who or what would you say are your biggest musical influences?
So many to name! I was named after Jeff Buckley’s album Grace, so I feel like that is definitely an influence. I just love good pop music, and get inspired especially by a lot of song-writers themselves. Some writers that inspire me are Taylor Swift for her melodies, Lorde for her lyricism and Lana Del Ray for the way her songs are so deeply symbiotic to her production.
Where did the name ‘Yorke’ come from?
I get really inspired by being in cities and especially my favourite one, New York. I love the chaos and the buzz and the lights and sense of purpose. The name ‘Yorke’ seemed only natural, I love it.
Can you tell us a little about your recently released single 'Wake The City'?
I wrote this song with Andy Mak mid last year and it remains one of my favourite tracks I’ve done. It was written about being put in a situation where you are juggling to decide between self-liberation and constraint from someone you care about. I love the way the production sort of juxtaposes the lyrical content – it tricks you into thinking it’s a lot more upbeat.
You also recently released the video clip for Wake The City, which was directed by Charli Burrowes. What was the inspiration behind the clip?
Yes! Charli is a creative genius. I guess the story behind the song is so close to me that I wanted to be able to capture elements of that through the narrative. The colour palette we chose (lots of red) to show that with emotion comes power. I think the clip as a whole really summarises the Yorke project perfectly.
Are you working on any new material at the moment?
I’ve been in the studio heaps lately, it’s been so great. Lotttts of music to come.
What’s your favourite thing about making music?
Being able to express emotions and imagery in a way that is so vastly subjective to listeners, but still creates incredible connection and meaning.
You supported Nyxen’s Sydney show at the Oxford Art Factory earlier in the year. How was that experience?
It was honestly so much fun! It was only my second Yorke show so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I just got so lost in the moment. So many firsts were ticked off and the vibe of the show was amazing! Nyxen was standing right in the very front, she is such a legend! Definitely go check her out live if you get a chance.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Write, release, shows, eat snacks, repeat.
There are so many great emerging bands/artists releasing music at the moment. Do you have any favourites?
Yes! Local acts I’m really into at the moment are E^ST, Robinson, Charlie Collins, Eliott. The female pop music scene is incredibly exciting at the moment, so proud to be a part of it.
Finally, do you have any advice for emerging songwriters/musicians like yourself that are trying to break into the industry?
1) If you put in the hard work, nothing is really impossible - I knew from a really young age this is what I wanted to do, so I just kept honing my craft without expecting anything, and now it’s all so real and I’m constantly amazed about it. I got to perform at my first festival recently and my younger self would’ve never have believed it. It was whack. 2) Get advice, and really try to take it on board, but also remember it isn’t everything. At the end of the day, you want to do what makes you feel the happiest, and most authentic. 3) Support your artist mates - collaboration is key. 4) Trust yourself, and your intuition.
Follow Yorke on Instagram for updates and stream 'Wake The City' now on all major streaming services.