Love Like Hate sprinkle darkly spell-like pop melodies into their musical cauldron’s ivory piano keys and synth-lead rhythms.
By Patrick Cash
I may have vaguely aligned Heather Cheketri and Sonja Ter Horst with witches in my opening sentence, but as you listen to their bubbling concoctions, you realise that they’re like Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series; a little more immersed in the tributaries than the mainstream to begin with, but ultimately one of your favourite characters.
‘Unnoticed’ lullabies into the thoughts like water cascading down stone steps, before the galloping beat of the chorus blooms. Cheketri’s mellifluous voice twines simultaneously above and within the track like the steam escaping a hot soup cup, coiling white dragon shapes in the air.
Regular readers of this column (I may be making a wild presumption) will perhaps note that when I focus on the lyrical content of a song it often polishes up with a tinge of poignancy. I hope this is not so much an insight into my own recurrent state of mind, as that the most beautiful songs are often the most emotional, and sadness is as much a part of our full, shimmering human existence as all the joy of Kylie’s enamel-y smile.
Yet ‘Unnoticed’ is an enigma in this respect – and not just because I can’t find the exact lyrics anywhere online, so I’m having to make do with what words I can interpret from hearing the vocals. ‘She loves you, I know this / you love them, those well-dressed men,’ sings Cheketri in the chorus. ‘We won’t let you go unnoticed.’ To me, this sounds uplifting in its affirmation for another’s visibility, so that they don’t fade away.
But there’s definitely a sense of regret in the verses: ‘so many nights / so many words never said right / tell them now how does it feel / to know that all of this was real?’ In the microcosm created by the song’s sculpted world, something has gone amiss in the past, a memory of a missed opportunity.
Where this strand reaches its nadir is when the musical accompaniment itself goes most quiet; suddenly all falls away for a single piano key and beat, as Cheketri incants: ‘I couldn’t think of anything to tell you / so I just didn’t talk at all / well I hope that you know / that silence was my outpour.’
Enough said, Love Like Hate. We’re gladly in the spell.