Jake Love is fresh on the Tāmaki Makaurau music scene. Last week he released his new EP Soccer, and performed his first gig at the Galatos Basement. Check out what we caught up on over FaceTime.
Hi Jake! Tell us about your new EP Soccer.
I have a new EP and it’s called Soccer, it’s a really fun, funky, and cool vibe. We decided pretty early on that we were gonna try to get it to feel like a modern version of an ‘80s prom. We were referring to it as ‘prom-pop’ for a long time. I guess you could call it prom-pop as a genre, but more accurately it’s guitar-alt-pop. It’s 6 songs, five originals and one cover. It is 25 minutes of easy, fun listening. It’s called Soccer, and it’s a good time.
What were your biggest influences for Soccer?
I started writing the earliest songs in 2015, and started recording with my producer Matthew Young in 2016, that’s when we started recording “Now She’s Gone”. It’s been a case of recording stuff over the years from then. Back then I was really into what everyone else was into, Mac Demarco was the big thing. He had just been at Laneway, and that was kinda the vibe. A lot of my songwriting came out of what he was doing. But, it wasn’t until I sat down with Matt to get some of the tracks produced, and he said “what’s your spin? What’s your take on this? Because Mac Demarco is already doing Mac Demarco. You can’t do it as good as he does it.”
So, for us it was really about taking that whole guitar-alt-pop that was, and still is, really big and giving it a full hi-fi, really crisp, really polished, glistening wide stereo sound to it, versus the bedroom lo-fi that was really popular.
Honestly, there are just so many influences that have accumulated, like HERS, Boy Pablo and BENEE, there are also playlists that I have been making since 2016 that have three or four hundred songs, and their influence are all throughout the tracks on Soccer.
What did the writing process look like for you?
The actual writing is kind of as cheesy as they come. It’s all, especially the early tracks, out of heartbreak as a lot of songs are. Break-ups, getting dumped, long distance, all the hard yards dumped on you at once. I have actually found it really hard writing more recently because generally I’m quite happy. It’s not that I am bad at writing songs when I’m happy, I just have more experience writing songs when I’m sad. As a teenager, when I first started writing, there is a lot going on that you don’t necessarily understand, and it was easy to put that into words. But now, no one wants to hear about your mortgage repayments, well, I mean maybe it is the next millennial banger. But yeah, nowadays it’s trying to find a way for words to express universal good things that people experience, figuring out what those are, the simple joys that people recognise and feel, and then write those into songs.
Do you have a favourite track on Soccer?
Oh man, do I have a favourite of my songs, that’s really hard. Live, I really love playing “Ocean Lover”, it’s so fun to play, I find it is the easiest one to tap into some emotion on and get moody and deep with. But then I also get to thrash out and have a fun guitar solo. I mean, I have only played them live once, maybe twice technically. Playing “Now She’s Gone” with a saxophonist at the gig was amazing. So yeah probably one of the two of them. But also “Waste Away” is really important for me. I should probably just make a roulette wheel of the three and see what one it lands on.
How do you think the gig went? And when’s the next one?
Yeah, the gig went really well, thanks. I was really happy with it, there were a lot of people there. Often the first gig is lots of friends and family out there to support you, but there were quite a few people I didn’t know, and I went up and talked to them and was like, “Hi, I’m Jake, have we met before?”. And they were like “Nah, we’ve never met, we just decided to come to the gig”. It’s like, thanks for coming, you could’ve been anywhere but you come out to see my gig. It was a big success.
When’s the next one? I don’t know yet, but there are things in the works, not for me, but to support some friends of mine. I can’t lock in anything 100% but it’s definitely the beginning of some fun stuff on the cards.
Thanks for your time Jake, we love the new EP and had a scrumpy-fuelled blast at the gig! Go listen to Soccer, available on all streaming platforms, and check out Jake Love on instagram: @jakeloves.ya