PREMIERE: Australian minimalist electro duo Love Level’s breathtaking self-titled debut EP

Aimee Van der Kruik and Juliana Ebert appeared as Love Level a year ago with a self-titled track that first introduced listeners to their distinctive minimalistic electronica. Built on sparse beats, poignant pauses and sultry R&B melodies, this duo is doing a hat-trick of Love Level-ness with a debut EP that’s also taking this same name. On the EP, you’ll find previously released tracks ‘Bad Bye’, which is flush with ’90s R&B energy and lush, experimental textures, and ‘Why You Left’, a slowtempo moment that’s sure to soften up any heart out there.

Here Love Level takes us back to where it all stated:

We started writing the EP back in 2019, before this project had any direction or even a name. We were writing most nights of the week with our producer(Dimitrios Mois)in his family home-it was such a warm and loving time in our lives that writing music just came so naturally because we all felt so creatively inspired.Once we had a few songs under way we took our work to another producer friend, Callum MacDonald (of daste.), who really helped bring the EP to life.”

Lucky for us, there’s also two new tracks – ‘Runaway’ and ‘Do This To Me’. Second on the tracklist, ‘Runaway’ is a story that many will relate to, that of the expectation or pressure to have your life mapped out. We hear this full honesty in lyrics like “Everyday its like I live in slow motion, / Rushing through it but it feels like im slowin’, / Right now it feels like ill never make it, / My heart’s aching and my mind is vacant.” Words like this are sung with the fluidity of running thoughts and as the song progresses the beats become more disparate and intense, reflecting this increasing pressure.

Exploring the theme of ‘Runaway’ further, Love Level share:

“Obviously, the music industry is such an uncertain thing-we have definitely doubted ourselves throughout this experience at one time or another. For us, this song was a lot of fun to write – to get those stressful feelings and thoughts out in the open like that kinda felt like we were denying them the ability to bother us at all.”

Standing out as the most different song on the EP has to be ‘Do This To Me’, a retelling of a well-worn theme of a dying relationship. What’s great about this one is it’s unpredictability; the strange metallic echoes that open the track, the bossy beats that then blend into jazzy piano, and then after a minute a choral hymn that winds itself into dropped-out bass. It’s an absolute treat that really pushes the envelope of what the Love Level project is capable of. ‘Do This To Me’ is evidence of what a year diligently honing your craft can achieve.

Once again, the pair are ready to shed more light on their newest track:

“Do This To Me’ is about feeling stagnant in a relationship-like you should leave but you have no will to go. For us, we experienced this with a friendship. We felt as if we’d been cast aside and left in the dark in such as sudden and unexpected way that it truly felt as if we were both going through a breakup from this person. In the moment we were so caught up in the slow burn of it all that we didn’t even realise DTTM was had become so relevant for us. It took us a while to move on from that hurt but we’re super proud of the song we got out of it :))”

From start to finish, we have to admire the emotive vocals of Van der Kruik and Ebert who borrow respectfully from the pantheon of R&B greats, while incorporating that style into their sophisticated electro compositions and skillful production. It’s absolutely satisfying and moreish, so that by the time you reach the end of the five-track EP, you’ll immediately want to dive back in for more.

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