Posts Tagged ‘Harriette Pilbeam’

Hatchie is the world of Harriette Pilbeam. Step inside her mind; a dreamy landscape where cascading synths, jangling guitars, propulsive rhythms and white noise undulate beneath irresistible pop melodies. Rather than focusing on the external world of her life in Brisbane, Pilbeam turns her gaze inwards, making a soundtrack out of her daydreams, setting her emotional life to song.

Brisbane’s Hatchie, aka Harriette Pilbeam, has released her debut full-length, “Keepsake”. Available through Double Double Whammy.

Following up on 2018’s Sugar & Spice EP, Keepsake spans 10 dreamy tracks that bring in elements of shoegaze and danceable pop. Singles “Stay With Me”, “Without a Blush”, and “Obsessed” have hinted at the influence of the likes of Cocteau Twins and Mazzy Star.

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Speaking about the album title , Hatchie said of Keepsake,

“It was a word that popped up in one of the songs, ‘Kiss the Stars’. I talk about keeping a heart as a keepsake, and I thought it was really nice. I have a bunch of little keepsakes and mementos in a drawer at home. I thought that this album would be a keepsake, kind of like a time capsule of this time in my life. So, it just kind of makes sense. I didn’t put too much thought into it at the time, which is good because I was worried I would be agonizing over it. I really liked that it was an easy decision to name the album Keepsake.”

For more insight into Keepsake, Hatchie has broken the record down Track by Track.

“Not That Kind”:
I wrote this song in mid 2017, when I wasn’t intentionally working towards anything specific like, say, an album. I just wanted to write a fun, rollicking pop song so I started with the lead synth line and guitars. It came together really quickly and I don’t even remember writing the lyrics. It’s got one of my favourite bass lines on the whole album. I used an old multi-effects pedal to create a random rhythm for the guitar in the bridge. I always thought it would be the perfect opener for an album, so I’m glad it’s ended up that way.

“Without A Blush”:
I wrote this one in early 2018 when I was focusing on the more industrial, heavy sounds that I wanted on the album. I started with the bass line and worked on the verses for ages. I actually lost the original demo because my programs kept crashing, but it ended up being a bit of a blessing because the second time around I had a much more concise vision for the song. I agonized over the bridge for months, originally trying a bunch of different vocal lines before deciding it really just needed some breathing space, both for me as the singer and the listener. After all the touring I did over the past year, I realized most of my songs have no breaks at all, so I really wanted this one to have space to grow before coming back with a bang at the end.

“Her Own Heart”:
This track is sonically more similar to the early Hatchie demos and the vision I had for the project back when I started it. As with the EP demos, the original version was also super washy, with 10 layers of guitars stacked up to make it as wet and verbed out as possible. At the time it was really irking me that so many of my songs are about someone else and how they make me feel, so with this one I set out to write about how I hoped I would react if I was suddenly completely on my own and forced to be emotionally independent — hence the cheesy lyrics about shooting your heart with your own arrow, and being your own muse. These are concepts I wish I’d been more aware of when I was younger. The original lyrics were far too long, telling a much bigger story that I wish I could have fit in. I wrote it in third person because I found it easier to open up and see it from a different perspective.

“Obsessed”:
I wrote this song more recently than the other tracks, a few weeks before we went into the studio in July last year. I wanted a super contained, compressed pop song with imperfections to balance out the sprawling, dramatic songs already written for the album. I started with the drum machine and layered up the synths before adding the vocals and guitars, trying to make them sound like samples. It makes me feel really nostalgic for when I was a teenager. It sounds like it’s a love song but it’s actually about my tendency to get obsessed with new friends to the point of pushing them away because I over analyze the relationship and ruin it. I wrote it in a few hours when I was feeling really down about not writing any new songs that I liked for a few months.

“Unwanted Guest”:
I probably shouldn’t say it, but this is my favourite track on the album. It’s exactly what I wanted the whole album to sound like before deciding it needed the balance of other more poppy, light, happy songs for it to work as a whole. I played around with the verse for months, really struggling to figure out where it should go after the spoken line. I just had two parts that I loved – the vocals and a bass line – and couldn’t decide on proper chords to fit under it. I had actually decided to shelve this song after a few different sessions working with Joe where we tried everything from changing the key to changing the entire chord structure. It was driving me crazy and I felt like we just kept getting further and further away from how I wanted it to sound. I gave up and started working on a brand new song, which I realized worked perfectly as a chorus after this original verse, so we put them together in a new session and it was a revelation. Recording all the synths in the outro was one of my favourite days in the studio. It’s an angry song about being dragged to a party you don’t want to be at!!

“Secret”:
This song was a surprise addition to the album in the final days of recording. We had some spare time after almost finishing all of the other tracks so decided to give something new a go. I had all the vocal and synth parts written, but like Unwanted Guest, I had no idea how to fit them all together and make something that sounded really different from the rest of the album. John Castle, who produced the album, sat down with the parts for an hour and came out with something way beyond where I imagined the song going originally. We were wary about the Robbie Williams piano line he suggested we add in behind everything in the second half of the song, but it’s my favourite part now. I wrote the lyrics last. It’s about confiding in a friend about your mental health.

“Kiss The Stars”:
This song is about seeing a childhood friend after years apart. I wanted to write something super nostalgic that looked back on a much simpler time in my life. I had the ‘kiss the stars’ line in my head for a while, having an idea of how I wanted that part of the song to go but not the rest. I tried adding it to various other tracks I was working on before realizing it worked best with this one. I love that the rhythm guitar and bass alternate between the same two chords for the entire song. In the demo I even just cut the progression in half and pasted the guitar and bassline in the opposite order for the change halfway through. The outro vocal part is such a special part to me, I love stacking up three or four harmonies to mimic a chord like that. It’s also when I reference the album title!

“Stay With Me”:
I heard Joe playing and singing this verse over and over from the other room and fell in love with it. We finished it together for fun, not as a song for any project in particular, aiming for a Kylie meets Trainspotting dance track. It was really exciting hearing it all come together though, and we agreed it was the perfect addition to the album. I love that it’s got a real a crying-on-the-dancefloor vibe.

“When I Get Out”:
This is another track that started off sounding completely different from the final product after merging multiple songs into one. I wanted something that reminded me of the The OC soundtrack that was so prevalent in my teen years.

“Keep”:
This is by far the oldest song on the album — it actually almost ended up on the previous EP. When deciding on the demos I was going to re-record for the album I skipped over it, feeling like I had outgrown the straight up pop sound and had better options. Once I had selected all of the other tracks though I felt like “Keep” would be the perfect connection between the album and the EP. I really like the simple, pop bookends of the album – opening with “Not That Kind” and closing with “Keep”.

released June 21st, 2019

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Hatchie is the world of Harriette Pilbeam. Step inside her mind; a dreamy landscape where cascading synths, jangling guitars, propulsive rhythms and white noise undulate beneath irresistible pop melodies. Rather than focusing on the external world of her life in Brisbane, Pilbeam turns her gaze inwards, making a soundtrack out of her daydreams, setting her emotional life to song.

‘Without A Blush’ is taken from Hatchie’s debut album ‘Keepsake’ out June 21 on Double Double Whammy, Heavenly Recordings

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The five songs on the debut EP from Brisbane musician Hatchie radiate sunshine. That’s not as easy a feat as it sounds: tip too far in the direction of sunny pop music and the results end up saccharine and cloying; if you try to overcorrect, you end up with the kind of half-hearted songs that feint toward hookiness without ever truly connecting. But Hatchie walks the tightrope, and every minute of Sugar & Spice is fully engaging and almost impossibly heartwarming. The big, sun-bleeding-over-the-horizon guitar chords that open “Sure” give way to a vocal melody that bobs as lazily and gracefully as a beach ball on the surface of a swimming pool. The title track leavens its rush of Fun Dip synths with a heartsick chorus that somersaults up and down the octave. Throughout the EP, Hatchie demonstrates masterful control of her voice, gliding into a cotton-candy-cloud falsetto and then back down into a warm caramel alto, giving the songs a kind of weightlessness and buoyancy—the running start she takes into the bridge of “Sugar & Spice” gives the finale a multicolor, firework-style rush. There are precedents here if you want to spot them—The Cranberries, Cocteau Twins—but Sugar & Spice wriggles off those simple touchstones the more you listen to it to become something entirely its own. Even the regret that powers the tumbling closer “Bad Guy,” in Hatchie’s hands, sounds like optimism.

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With more than a hint of early Depeche Mode and The Cocteau Twins) – shoegazy guitars alongside Bunnymen riffs, as Harriette Pilbeam effortlessly layers knock-out hooks alongside dreamy vocals and radio-friendly tunes.

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With her debut UK live shows just days away, Brisbane newcomer Hatchie has shared a fourth track and accompanying video from her debut EP, ‘Sugar & Spice’, which comes out on May 25th via Heavenly Recordings.

The new track, ‘Sleep‘, continues to delve into Harriette Pilbeam’s introspective world where daydreams meet a shimmering soundtrack of bright synths, jangling guitars and deliciously bittersweet vocals, we are big fans: “Sleep is about feeling frustrated with someone who can’t communicate their feelings,” she explains. “In this song I’m trying to coax someone into talking to me by any means necessary, even if it means visiting me in dreams.”

On the accompanying video she comments: “We decided to play on the idea that I’m trying to get someone to communicate with me in their sleep. We made a bunch of dreamy sets to focus on, like I’m talking to them in their dreams. At some points I’m really serious, at other points I’m almost teasing them because I’m so over trying to get them to talk.”

Speaking of the EP, Pilbeam says: “After writing music that never felt cohesive or special enough to warrant its own venture, ‘Try’ marked a shift in my writing style I wasn’t expecting. I wrote it in early 2015, followed quickly by ‘Sleep’ and ‘Sugar & Spice’. They were written more for myself than for a specific project, in an effort to explore feelings of vulnerability and ecstasy I had previously suppressed. I wanted these songs to sound lush, sparkly, and recreate euphoric feelings I experienced falling in love for the first time. I reworked my demos with Joe Agius, whose production and writing additions achieved the perfect sound I was searching for, giving me confidence to start taking the songs more seriously and continue writing.

The songs on ‘Sugar & Spice’ were all written without much thought or pressure from myself or anyone else, allowing me to lay my feelings out like I’ve never done before. Joe & producer John Castle helped shape the sound you can hear in each track, bringing life to each song in its own special way.”

The release comes hot off the back of a remarkable nine months for Hatchie. After signing to Ivy League Records for Australia/New Zealand, Heavenly Recordings for UK/Europe and Double Double Whammy/Polyvinyl for North America, and recent performances at SXSW, the international demand will see Hatchie embark on a huge run of shows. The UK leg in May will take in festivals such as Live at Leeds, Liverpool Sound City and The Great Escape as well as a string of London shows.

‘Sugar & Spice’ EP track list:
1. Sure (official video | Robin Guthrie remix)
2. Sleep (official video)
3. Sugar & Spice (official video)
4. Try (official video)
5. Bad Guy

Hatchie has revealed details of her debut EP ‘Sugar & Spice’ and released the title track with a excellent new video today. ‘Sugar & Spice’ follows the previously released singles ‘Try’ & ‘Sure’ from the Brisbane based artist Harriette Pilbeam.

The video for ‘Sugar & Spice’ was made by Hatchie band-member Joe Agius, with Harriette Pilbeam:

Joe and I spent about an hour filming with the guys and two days drawing for the video. It’s such a fun short song, so we wanted something simple and colourful, and less serious than our previous videos. Joe came up with the concept and we took inspiration from our old school scrapbooks.”

“‘Sugar And Spice’ may not be everything nice, but it’s sure a heck of a lot of it. Basically a perfect radio-friendly indie-pop song — it matches its spangly guitar shimmer with vocal harmonies

‘SUGAR & SPICE’ EP

Hatchie is one Harriette Pilbeam, a native of Brisbane who has already attracted plaudits at home prior to unsurprisingly picking up wider acclaim from the likes of NPR and Beats 1. 

Having played with various friends and bands in Brisbane, Hatchie is her first venture into solo territory, one she is quick to admit is positive, that allows her to make her own decisions, assert herself and make so many positive changes. Her world is a dreamy landscape inhabited by cascading synths, jangling guitars and undeniable, irresistible pop melodies. Sure, prompted by a melody was composed on a whim and completed in a day. As she explains; “All of my songs start with singing. I hear the melody first and then work out the chords I’m imaginging under that and despite not knowing chord names I have a good ear so can kinda figure it out.”

That instinct is abundant on Sure, lush synths envelope alluring vocals that wouldn’t appear out of place in The Sundays and Allvvays songbooks – a gorgeous swathe of pop beauty, an enthralling introduction into the world of Hatchie.  The track will be included on a forthcoming EP through Heavenly Recordings that will accompany her debut UK live dates.

Also check out the First single from Brisbane dreampop artist Hatchie.

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Hatchie is the stage name of Brisbane-based indie/dream pop singer/songwriter Harriette Pilbeam. She’s been in the Brisbane music scene for a few years as a member of two other bands, but this is her first project that she’s been the front of. She released a shimmering indie-pop single called “Try” earlier this year, and followed that with a further track “Sure” a month ago. She’s set to release her debut EP early next year, and it’s probably safe to assume that this song will be on that record.

In general, there’s a Milk and Kisses-era Cocteaus feeling. There’s also quite a bit of jangly guitars that remind me of the indie rock of the early 90s. The song, according to what I’ve read, is about a couple who keep breaking up and getting back together. They’re giving it one last go because they can’t live with or without each other.

The video seems to be a deliberate glove-tap to the indie pop videos of the early-mid 1990s. The stripey shirt worn by the guitar player. The jangly acoustic guitar. The bank of TVs with horizontal TV noise and video feedback/recursive image. The classic 8-eye Doc Martens worn by Pilbeam. This is all stuff that takes me back to the golden age of indie pop, All I know about the forthcoming EP is that it’s called Sugar and Spice and that it’s due out “early next year”.

thanks thisisthatsong