Published Jun 21, 2019On her debut full-length, Keepsake, Harriette Pilbeam, also known as Hatchie, delivers a soundtrack of sighing heartbreak, longing nostalgia, and struggling friendships with her honeyed aesthetic, following instant acclaim for her five-song dream-pop EP Sugar & Spice, released just last year.
Lead single "Without a Blush," blends Pilbeam's seamless, breezy voice with chiming synths, blotted with ripped-up guitar and subtle undertones, revealing Hatchie's more aggressive nature on the new album. Keepsake expands on Sugar & Spice's heavenly pop earworms with a sour tint, balancing melody with a more defiant palette.
The gurgling, shadowy glow on "Unwanted Guest" is peppered with sunlit splashes of '80s new wave guitar and distant squeals, capturing the gauzy depth of Pilbeam's dynamic songwriting. Halfway through Keepsake, on "Secret," Pilbeam's wistful, forlorn vocals are dizzyingly gorgeous as she whispers, "if you hear me, can you steer me, just for a while?" and her tender sway slowly turns helplessness into newfound courage and striking tenacity.
In contrast, "Stay With Me" is driven by a repetitively sturdy beat and stained with shimmering synths and Pilbeam's more assured vocal delivery. On songs like "Her Own Heart" and "Kiss the Stars," jangly guitars stretch and soar lavishly in an atmosphere of undeniable pureness.
While Pilbeam will undoubtedly be compared to her influencers like Cocteau Twin's Liz Fraser or the Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan, Hatchie's blushed textures and candied melodies feel fresh for a new generation in 2019. Keepsake marks an assertive, confident step forward for Hatchie and Pilbeam is well on her way to carving out her own storied path. (Double Double Whammy)