Posts Tagged ‘Sugar & Spice’

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Australian singer-songwriter Hatchie released her debut EP, Sugar & Spice, in May, and she’s been kicking up quite the shimmery storm ever since. In September, she played two festivals back-to-back, and she also recently played a sold-out string of tour dates with Alvvays and Snail Mail (what you might call an indie fan’s dream lineup). Hatchie’s irresistible dream-pop is sugar to the ear, but it’s not always lyrically sweet. On her EP’s title track, Hatchie is regretful, singing, “Sugar and spice / I should’ve taken your advice.” She’s not only thoughtful, but also clever in her compositions: Hatchie strikes the perfect combination between acoustic and synth, her pop occasionally moonlighting as something folksier. “Sure,” the first song on Sugar & Spice, uses looping drum machines and consistent synth, but it’s softened by soft acoustic guitar as Hatchie fires off question after question. “Why did you do it? / You couldn’t just laugh and walk away?”

On her debut EP Sugar & Spice, the young Australian songwriter Hatchie has established herself as one of the smartest and most eloquent voices in indiepop. Written in the glow of her first romantic relationship, these five songs deliver grandiose melodies in the vein of Carly Rae Jepsen (“Sleep,” “Try,” “Sugar & Spice”) and glimmering arrangements that recall the sparkly jangle of Real Estate. By exploring the space, implicit in the project’s title, where the saccharine euphoria of budding romance ends and its grittier complexities begin, Hatchie has found a recipe for success.

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Hatchie’s utterly perfect new EP Sugar & Spice might remind you of The Cranberries and Natalie Imbruglia both names are meant as deep compliments. But instead , I’ll go with Cocteau Twins whose Robin Guthrie has already remixed a song from Sugar and The Sundays, but even those fall short in capturing the album’s radiant, sparkling beauty. So let’s forego comparisons altogether and say this instead: that Hatchie  aka Harriette Pillbeam has the kind of graceful knack for pop hooks that artists twice her age would sell their souls for. Step inside her mind; a dreamy landscape where cascading synths, jangling guitars, propulsive rhythms and white noise undulate beneath irresistible pop melodies.

The EP moves from triumph to triumph: in “Sure,” Hatchie’s voice skips through a glistening field of guitars, pausing only to ricochet her voice up and up and up the octave on the chorus. She see-saws up and down, from high register to deep alto, on the verses to the title track, the chorus of which is as sticky-sweet and elastic as pulled taffy. But the runaway winner on an EP full of stunners comes at the end; on “Bad Guy,” Hatchie modulates her voice so it lands somewhere between pained longing and calm resolution, and the way the chorus spills from her lips short, breathless syllable after short, breathless syllable adds to the song’s nervous momentum. That the album runs a short 20 minutes is Sugar & Spice’s only drawback as you want more, but that’s a minor quibble; Hatchie could write an album three times as long, and it would still feel like it was over too soon.

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Released May 25th, 2018

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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