Posts Tagged ‘Sugar & Spice EP’

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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