Brisbane pop duo Love Like Hate are currently touring Australia on their English Summer Tour.
Hitting up Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart and Queensland, the English Summer Tour rides on the back of their Unnoticed EP released last year.
Founded in 2009, Heather Cheketri and Sonja Ter Horst are Love Like Hate; an indie, experimental, dark pop outfit who have been compared to the likes of PJ Harvey, Florence and the Machine, and Purity Ring.
As well as Unnoticed, the band released EP Rabbit Hole in 2012, produced by Lachlan Mitchell (The Vines, The Jezebels).
Both EPs received critical acclaim, including JJJ Unearthed pick up, Best New Release by Independent Music News UK (2014), 8 Top 20 USA independent releases CMJ (2015), as well as charting in Australian and USA independent music charts.
In 2012, Love Like Hate gained exclusive worldwide signing to UK music giant, Rough Trade Publishing (Violent Femmes, Le Tigre).
One half of the duo, Heather, speaking to The Upside News from the Tasmanian leg of the tour, says the response to the live performances of the music from Unnoticed has been good so far.
“For the recording of the Unnoticed EP we moved away from drums to explore electronic undertones. ‘Electric Ships’ was the pre-released single that we toured as a duo interstate and through Europe where it was very warmly received gaining us signing to Rough Trade Publishing,” she says.
“Obviously, when playing live in some situations it’s a stripped back set but the songs are still the core pieces that were written before electronic programming is added so they can stand on their own.”
Having been compared to some of music’s greats, Heather says the band’s music is experimental and melodic.
“We describe our music as ‘dark pop’, a combination of grunge guitar with free form piano melodies,” she says.
After Love Like Hate have toured Australia, they will jet off overseas to play a string of festivals in the UK.
“Having played at the sold out London Vegan Beer Festival last year, we were invited again to perform this year. This will then follow straight onto the Vegan Roadshow Festival, where we will be playing around ten shows in nine cities around the UK. We are very excited about playing in Glasgow as neither one of us have been there,” Heather says.
Touring during the Australian winter, Heather admits the name “English Summer Tour” is a slight dig at English weather, as well as a way to link the two tours.
“Yeah it is definitely a cheeky dig, but it was also inspired by the simple fact that we are coming into winter and Europe is coming into summer. As our tour will take us into the UK summer festival circle, we thought it was a good title to tie the whole tour together,” she says.
Having spent some time overseas, Love Like Hate chose to film the clip for ‘Unnoticed’ in Europe; Heather speaks about the experience.
“The ‘Unnoticed’ clip was shot in Prague, Berlin, Paris and London. Our time in Berlin was amazing, and [was] the highlight of that tour; filming our clip along the Berlin Wall. The night we played our show was the same as the semi-final World Cup for Germany vs Berlin,” she says.
“We performed in a tiny basement venue, packed with expatriates from Venice, South Africa and Australia watching our set. We could hear the stamping and yelling through the floorboards above our heads. During half time, people would race down the narrow staircase and listen to the music. It’s so different than in Australia where music and sports are not jointly appreciated. The streets went crazy that night when Germany won!”
With the rich texturing that makes up Love Like Hate’s music, reproducing their sound for a live set may prove challenging, but Heather says they recreate each song specifically for live audiences.
“Of course you can’t realistically play the multiple layered guitar parts that go into a recording; we also don’t want to create backing tracks that makes our performance like karaoke,” she says.
“We tend to approach the live act separately and unpack each song. Sometimes Sonja will layer her piano, other songs we have electronic samples and beats that we play along with. It’s also surprising how much ambience you can create with just a guitar and piano/synth. We also have our resident drummer Stephen Birt join us on some shows where it suits a bigger sound.”
And just as collaborative as the creation of a live show is the writing process for the band’s music, which will do doubt be a part of the new album the band is planning this year.
“The writing process doesn’t have a set of rules for us. Either one of us may come to the other with a piece they have written, though it no doubt ends up going through the wringer and coming out as a Love Like Hate song. I usually have more direction over the lyrics, but it’s a joint effort on 99% of the tracks. We always add to the other’s written piece and mould it into the sound we both love,” Heather says.
“We are extremely excited to be heading back into the studio at the end of the year with Lachlan Mitchell, who produced both our EPs. We have been working on new material and can’t wait to start recording the album. It’s going to be an awesome achievement for us and hopefully it will give people a bigger insight into our music.”
And while Love Like Hate will bypass Adelaide on this national tour, we can possibly look forward to seeing them on their next journey through.
“This time, unfortunately, we could not make the distance, though we have been asked a couple of times to get there and we will! Hopefully later this year we will put on a show in Adelaide around October, once we are back from the UK,” Heather says.
Check out the clip for ‘Unnoticed’.