Hatchie Keepsake Heavenly Records
With 2018’s Sugar & Spice EP, Hatchie (aka Brisbane-based singer-songwriter Harriette Pilbeam) did something quite remarkable. She transcended the trappings of a well-trodden retro-genre (in this case, 90s indie and dream pop) by transforming shimmering instrumentation, heartfelt lyrics and needle-sharp production into an interior world so precise it bordered on fantasy.
Her full-length debut, Keepsake, takes her sound a step forward. Like your teenage cut-outs from issues of Sassy and Jane serenading you from your bedroom wall, Keepsake’s songs are both impossibly beautiful and dripping with nostalgia. Lead single Obsession jingles with shining guitars and basslines that wouldn’t have felt out of place on a New Order song during their heyday. Hatchie excels at creating moods, little bubbles that trap you for a few minutes before bursting into soapy rainbows. Her songs are about love in a traditional sense, but are always undercut with enough bite to keep things interesting.
Not quite vintage, not quite modern; not quite in love, not quite heartbroken. Hatchie takes these contradictions and uses them to perfectly distill the essence of her music, where that indescribable feeling of youth and wonder rubs up against adulthood and longing, and in the process, created one of the strongest rock debuts of the year so far.