As their name would suggest, Brisbane-based indie-pop duo Love Like Hate make music on the moodier end of the spectrum: their newly-released five-song EP Rabbit Hole is full of the sort of buzzing guitars and angular melodies that should please fans of early PJ Harvey.

The pair, longtime friends Heather Cheketri (vocals, guitar) and Sonja Ter Horst (piano), wrote their first song together four years ago but only gained the confidence to start performing under the LLH moniker last year.

They told the Star Observer that, with their strong personalities, collaborating on songs was sometimes a fraught process.

“On the whole we write separately and then get together with the bones we have created,” Ter Horst explained.

“Lyrically it’s hard, because I can write something and Heather will say, ‘there is no way I’m saying that’ or ‘that’s too literal or too vague’.

Then Heather will write something that I don’t really get or think that it fits in. So we fight it out, but in the end we always agree on a song before we brand it Love Like Hate.”

The definite highlight – and first single – from their Rabbit Hole EP is 21, a swirling, melancholy ode to growing up that comes complete with an evocative video clip.

“21 is mainly about finding out that things aren’t always as they appear on the outside when in a certain scene. [We called it] 21 because it was easy to overlook things and get lost in a scene and just enjoy it for what it is at 21; you cruise with everything because you don’t really have a definite destination yet,” said Cheketri, perhaps explaining the meaning behind the song’s video, which sees the duo driving aimlessly around the Australian outback.

“Musically it’s an interesting song, as I was writing a piece on piano and when I showed Heather, she had written exactly the same chord progression that she wanted to show me – so it fit together perfectly when written on two different sides of a wall,” said Ter Horst.

Love Like Hate will hit the road to introduce their music to audiences along the Australian east coast over the next couple of months.

“For the tour we have some awesome local acts from each city, so people can expect to see some great artists from their own backyard,” Ter Horst promised.

Many of the artists the Love Like Hate ladies cite as their key influences – Harvey, Joan Jett, Patti Smith – are considered indie gay icons. We asked if Cheketri and Ter Horst were eager to foster a gay fanbase for themselves on this tour.

“This year we played the Tropical Fruits recovery party which was great; our queer family is always so supportive. Though I think because our music also sits on the outside of mainstream, our appeal is similar to those female musicians who are considered indie gay icons and who inspire us,” Ter Horst said.

“And I think we sit on the fence when it comes to genres – hopefully we can bring everyone together into one big happy family!” said Cheketri.

INFO: Rabbit Hole out now.

Love Like Hate tour August and September – dates at www.lovelikehate.com.au

Watch 21 from their EP Rabbit Hole.

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