Her’s is a dreamy indie-pop duo based in Liverpool, England. We spoke with member Audun Laading regarding their upcoming EP, friendship, their musical dynamic, and a possible underwear line? While discussing their current UK tour, they also compare their music scene to that of the U.S., and expand on their goals to understand the energy present in each crowd.
Hector Castro: What went into the name "Her's”?
Audun Laading: We threw in a grammatically incorrect apostrophe for extra bold flavour. On the more philosophical side of the name, we like to think it's a little romantic [and] a little melancholy with a touch of longing ambiguity.
HC: What are the inspirations behind your sound?
AL: We try to be versatile, maybe draw from a plethora of different eras? Bit of ‘50s classical songwriting, something along the lines of The Fleetwoods and Santo and Johnny. A touch of ‘80s flare from the likes of Scritti Politti, The Smiths, Robert Palmer, and Peter Ivers. We’re not going to pretend we don't like anything modern, an obvious idol for us has always been Ariel Pink, but we also draw upon the likes of Sean Nicholas Savage, TOPS, and MGMT. Best way to keep on top of all this though is by listening to our Ear Tapas playlist on Spotify (cheeky plug).
HC: As a duo, I'd assume both of you must take ideas from each other when working on a new single. What's that process like?
AL: Maybe it's like raising a baby up to an adult stage? Obviously one of us gives birth to it, then Ste's the one to give it words. The rest of its formation is an exercise in parenthood. It usually takes a long time, as we gotta get to know the track before fully knowing what kind of an adult it's gonna become.
HC: Your return from last year's Songs of Her's has spurred up some excitement from fans! What should they expect from the new album?
AL: We've tried to continue the sound we laid out with the first release, but as we were so happy with how people seemed to enjoy it, we’ve approached this one with more certainty and confidence in the studio. With the first one we were afraid of over-producing it in case it would lessen the live experience of the music, but we’ve realised that people are very open to backing tracks as long as the music is still well-performed, so we’ve definitely allowed ourselves more freedom of experimentation.
HC: You're currently on tour in the UK. Is the crowd similar to those of other places where you've performed? SXSW must've been exciting last year!
AL: The crowds have changed a lot since last year, that's for certain! SXSW was an amazing experience, but being [that] our debut shows in the U.S. and Songs of [were] not out yet, we were definitely the fresh-faced debutantes there. It went over [like] a dream though, despite playing nine shows in four days. The UK shows have definitely been getting bigger. What we’ve also realised is that each crowd’s got a very distinctive personality. We’re currently trying to figure them all out.
HC: Now with the sprouting of that fresh new single, “Love On The Line (Call Now),” will the new album take on a new sound? Anything with synthesizers and punchier drum machines?
AL: As mentioned before, we’ve definitely expanded the sound we established on Songs Of Her’s. There are other tracks with similar synth/drum machine partnerships like “Love On The Line (Call Now).” However, we feel that every track on the new album is a new addition to our smorgasbord of tonal output. Some link in together with the old sounds, and some expand on it.
HC: What are your thoughts on cassettes? Will there ever be any for Her's? Vinyl is surreal and stunning for sure.
AL: We’re definitely more into the idea of holding a large physical format that doesn’t limit extra content (like posters/stickers, etc.). We’d like to have cassettes, but since physical format is such a luxury item, maybe even collector-specific these days, we have to prioritise the format output.
HC: You’re regarded as up-and-coming by media platforms and Spotify playlists alike—what do you see in your music when it’s placed aside that of musicians like Bane's World and Beach Fossils who are also rising?
AL: We feel flattered to be given a platform alongside a lot of American heavy-hitters. It's nice to know we have a dedicated following in the U.S., we just hope we can get back out there ASAP. (Visas suck!).
HC: Any update your merchandise? Have any clothing lines hit you guys up for any potential Her's underwear exclusives?
AL: The two new tees...that we’re selling on tour [are out], keep an eye out for them on the online store. If anyone wants to make Her’s underwear, we’ll accept for sure!
HC: Could you tell us about Her's and Mark Renton? How was Speed Racer's music video inspired by Trainspotting?
AL: It was kind of coincidental! Turns out that Mark ‘Rent Boy’ Renton was hiding under Ste’s bowl cut, but that wasn’t revealed until a couple of shots in, as Ste’d not had short hair since he was a baby. There are definitely some strong parallels, but our characters were more into fist fights than smack hits!
HC: Who is the art director for your album art and merchandise?
AL: We have our own in-house artwork and merchandise maker, [who’s] also known to thrash the bass, Audun Matthias Knobelauch Friis Laading. He’s responsible for our fresh visual output!
HC: Why should people listen to Her’s?
AL: We write songs that we'd like to listen to. We reckon we’d be pretty into Her’s if we stumbled across [ourselves], y’know? So we like to think that people can experience that for us. Also, we’ve [had] a lot of bonding happening at the shows recently, with mates introducing us to mates—maybe we’re good for your friendships and first dates!