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Chris Yokel - JPop.com
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Chris Yokel

Chris Yokel

Chris Yokel


Chris Yokel remembers banging things. "I'd always be tapping or hitting something--the kitchen table, my knees, walls. I think I drove my parents crazy." This rhythmic and musical urge eventually found an outlet in the violin, which Chris studied for over 10 years. That and many years of experience in church solidified his love of creating and performing music. But it was when he picked up guitar that he really found the ideal way to express himself. Read more on Last.fm
Chris Yokel remembers banging things. "I'd always be tapping or hitting something--the kitchen table, my knees, walls. I think I drove my parents crazy." This rhythmic and musical urge eventually found an outlet in the violin, which Chris studied for over 10 years. That and many years of experience in church solidified his love of creating and performing music.

But it was when he picked up guitar that he really found the ideal way to express himself. "My brother was learning how to play guitar, so I'd pick his up and start teaching myself some chords. Eventually I was playing it so much that I just got my own. What really made things click was songwriting.

I'd always been good at putting words together, I'd even started to dabble in poetry. The guitar gave me a way to combine music with words." The eventual result was Chris' first humble recording effort, "The Home Sessions", which he gave away for free. What it documents is the halting and rough efforts of an artist getting his footing, while at the same time establishing themes that would become important later on. "'The Home Sessions' was really a huge growing process for me, just learning about recording and songwriting.

I definitely look back on it and wince at little here and there, but I'm not ashamed of it. It definitely helped to establish some characteristics about my music--the rather melancholy aura of a lot of what I write, but also the strong theme of hope that weaves its way through many of my songs." Hope continues as a strong theme in Chris' second effort, "An End To Endless Night". The title itself speaks of a morning that is coming to end darkness. "The title comes from a line in one of the songs, entitled "Persephone".

It's based on the story of Persephone from Greek mythology--she was kidnapped by Hades and forced to be his queen in the Underworld. So it sort of works off the idea of unwillingly living in the middle of darkness and death, but hoping for light to come." The album itself moves this way, starting with tracks like "The Road" (inspired by Cormac McCarthy's novel of the same name) and the dreary "Rain", but moving to more hopeful songs like "Chapter 8" and "Beyond The Mountains". This journey towards the light is also highlighted in traveling-theme songs like "Mountain Road" and "Stars Weep Rain". Together, the album's twelve track's highlight one man's journey through darkness and into hope. "People might get the idea from listening to my songs that I'm a dreary person, but really I'm not.

I'm pretty upbeat and cheerful. But I guess music reveals the melancholy side of me, and helps me to deal with some of the darkness and hardship in life that we all face. And that's also why hope is such an important theme in my music, because it's important to me personally. That's what carries us through in the end." Read more on Last.fm.

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