Yoste is the moniker of 23-year-old Brisbane singer-songwriter-producer Kurt Sines. With influences drawn from the likes of Bon Iver, Tycho and Jonsi to LANY and the 1975 the project’s unique and moving music is swiftly gaining international attention.
In 2016, following several months of travel and introspection, the self-taught songwriter and producer dazzled audiences with the release of his debut single ‘Chihiro’.
Now with a catalogue boasting over 20 million streams online, a sold out debut show in late 2017 and a string of new releases on the way, the young musician looks set to join the ranks of esteemed bedroom producers conquering the world.
Out of my cage through an open door, Feeling less tired than I did before, I broke my fever then I broke my chains, I don’t like liars and I don’t like change.
I tried to run but I was much too slow, I’m only young but that was long ago, The air was cool and now it burns my lungs, Stains my eyes and stills my tongue.
Heaving, hollow, Breathing, so slow,
Upright, but tiring Lost sight, climbing.
Coming to rest, At great height, We’re formless, in the low light, In the warmth of your glow I’m alright, Though I wish I could claw back some time, I could breathe in the colours so bright.
I’ve fallen on my own regret, Building towers from my love. Your claws around my throat again, All I am is not enough.
Tell me that there’s something left, I’m a coward and a cub. We try so hard but stay bereft, Mm, I’m broken up.
I don’t know where you go, But I know you so well, When I’m alone with you, alone with you. I don’t know who you are, When you’re with your friends, I can only lose.
It doesn’t matter what we said, Leave the flowers in the dust, I can’t remember what it meant, Only that I wrote for both of us.
Won’t you tell me that I’m more than just my chemicals, I’ve been thinking and it’s more than just electrical.
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“Life is first boredom, then fear” writes Phillip Larkin. A witty, if glib line, which is nonetheless painfully resonant. For me, the fear began in earnest when I was around 18. Having left school and begun studying law, more from apathy than genuine interest, I felt the twinge of a now familiar sense of longing. Longing for purpose, for understanding, for meaning.
The fact that I finished the degree is, I think, indicative of the listlessness and general lack of purpose that took root, and it’s something I recognise in many of the people around me. Though this has been rationalised to me by countless generous people as “perseverance”, I can’t help but feel as if that’s not quite right. This isn't to knock law. I like law. I just don't love it. I do love this.
Naomi Klein talks about a ‘war on the imagination’. While this phrase is used primarily to discuss alternative economic systems, it applies equally well to the way individuals are disinvited to consider alternative lifestyles. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start nattering about auras and chakras, but ripe as those notions can be for mockery, I shouldn’t really belittle them either, as they’re just another manifestation of humans seeking meaning. So why not chakras, why not auras? After all modern science has since proved the positive effects of meditation and taken it mainstream, albeit in secularised form. When one considers the fact that human senses are only able to interpret a tiny fraction of the world around us, the notion of ‘reality’ becomes extremely fluid. So in some ways I view what most of us define as reality to be nothing more than shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave. This paragraph is an excellent example of the way I think, flitting from idea to idea without ever settling in one place for too long, and unable to reach a definitive conclusion about anything.
Ultimately I think self-analysis and willingness to embrace uncertainty is healthy. I don’t really trust people who are certain about things. People who are adamantly atheist to me appear equally if not more irrational than those of specific faiths. Personally I feel as if there must be something, some undercurrent of consciousness and breadth to the universe beyond the now common view that consciousness arose from dead matter “just because”. Call it God, or consciousness, or nature, in a sense it doesn’t matter. At least that’s what I try to believe, want to believe, in my more optimistic moods. There’s something very attractive about nihilism though, I think it’s the glib and light-hearted way it embraces the devastating nature of mortality…
I feel it’s important to note that I’ve no particular authority, nor wisdom, nor courage. I take comfort from that understanding. I think most people are like that, many of whom I admire a great deal. Indeed, I think everyone is essentially like that, connected by our shared experiences and fundamental, inescapable naivety. That’s life - I think.
Unlike many musicians, I don’t really view music as the greatest of art forms, though it’s certainly one of the most ancient and visceral. To me music and comedy and art and film and photography are like spokes in a wheel, blurring together, each as necessary as the other, all at their heart trying to achieve the same thing. Having said that, as I am first and foremost a musician, and so much of my identity is bound up in the music I make, of course I have a particular fondness and loyalty to it as a medium.
My writing process is simultaneously very slow and very fast. I often suffer from weeks and months of creative frustration, making incremental improvements to my writing and production but producing nothing satisfying. Finally there will come a moment when the gears click together and a song is written and produced over the course of a day with a manic intensity. I often say it can take months to write a song overnight.
I love you for listening, take care.