Moore Music: Hatchie’s “Giving the World Away”
What are some of the best simple pleasures in life? The earthy scent of the first rain of spring, the feeling of freshly cut green grass in the summer, the warmth of a cozy campfire. How about this one, the discovery of an artist who’s music you fall in love with instantly, that you can tell upon first listen, is going to be someone you follow for a long time. That was my recent experience with Hatchie, an Australian solo artist who’s major label debut Giving the World Away has me totally recalibrating my own musical interests and where I see indie pop headed in the future.
Hatchie’s real name is Harriette Pilbeam and hails from Brisbane, if you go to her Wikipedia page you’ll see that she’s listed as “dream pop” but that categorization is a total disservice to the breadth and stylistic pulling of her sound. Despite having the hallmarks of high airy vocals and synth-pad heavy ethereal soundscapes, her songs are grounded much more by the classic rock trio of guitar riffs, bass, and drums. The bass in particular is always grooving and center stage, as Hatchie herself usually plays bass while performing live, an unusual shift from the guitar-focused solo act paradigm.
While listening to this record I couldn’t help but think of the recent interview I did with Little Disasters on Scenic Route where singer Mick Lynch declared that pop punk isn’t dead, professing a love for the 2000s sound. If it’s not already happening, I can for see a massive musical shift back to that era in the near future, because it’s something I hear all over this record. To be more specific, the various styles around Y2K proper or possibly even a bit earlier. It just has that same indescribable vibe and all the pieces are there. There’s pumping, often world-style beats, breaks of ultra-clean guitar, hypnotic vocal effects, and echoey but dark piano melodies that swirl around and remind me heavily of the electronica and trance influences that were seeping into popular music around that time. Oh, and don’t forget the all-important orchestral hits.
Whether intentional or not, Hatchie is able to blend all that seamlessly with The Cure-like reverb-heavy more modern indie pop flavors, keeping a tone that rides between melancholic and hopeful and make the whole thing bombastic and seemingly infinitely layered. No matter how you slice it, Giving the World Away is grooving and compelling experience that defies genre and collapses the pop music timeline into a single entity. Each song is a perfect little nugget of pure pop done in a surprisingly unique way, where no two songs are the same and they keep bringing in more and more sounds that make your ears go wow. If ears could talk that is. This is low key becoming one of my favorite releases this year and can’t wait to watch and hear Hatchie’s music career no doubt shoot skyward from here.