On album number two, Hatchie not only extends beyond her initial sonic palette, but her lyrical one too. The growth on display on the album is enormous and if the Brisbane dream pop singer, songwriter and musician wasn't ready for the world before, she sure is now. Arriving with a sound fully-formed on both her 2019 debut album Keepsake and the breakthrough EP Sugar & Spice before it, the Brisbane artist once basked in the intoxication of falling in love, heartbreak and everything in between and attracted international acclaim while doing so. However, her sophomore effort, Giving The World Away, is the truest introduction to the songwriter and musician known as Harriett Pilbeam so far and distills her work with a thunderous and sprawling stadium-ready sound. Produced by Jorge Elbrecht (known for his work with Sky Ferreira, Japanese Breakfast, and Wild Nothing), the album again features intensive input from longtime Hatchie collaborator, husband and Brisbane local Joe Agius and features another collection of infectious tunes which reflect the gauntlet of the alt-pop perfectors, everyone from Cocteau Twins and Slowdive, to The Cure and Joy Division. She even co-wrote the excellent lead single with Olivia Rodrigo collaborator Dan Nigro.
“Took some time for me to find the rhythm,” Hatchie sings on album highlight The Rhythm’ and she wasn't kidding - she's locked into the groove now with a completely captivating second album that sees her looking at herself in the eye and facing the seemingly impossible task of rebuilding herself, all with in a rich and expansive world. Pilbeam took the time to answer a short Q&A for Waxx Lyrical.
WL: Harriette, hello! I know you've been galavanting all over the world - where does this find you currently?
HATCHIE: Hi! We're in LA right now, prepping for tour.
And how are you feeling / what's the feeling within the Hatchie camp at this moment? Are you in the weird period between album release and tour?
H: I'm nervous but pretty content, it's been a really nice, smooth album release so far, so now I'm just ready to play shows. It's definitely a bit of a weird limbo but it was worse for all of 2021 when we had finished the album and still had to wait months for it to come out!
A huge congratulations on the release of Giving The World Away. It sounds like you've been sitting on the finished record for quite some time. What sort of feelings have you finally having it out?
Thank you! Yeah, we finished it in late 2020. I'm mostly relieved!
You're sounding nice and confident on the album, and as poptastic as ever - tell me a little more about the initial days of beginning writing for this album and if you had a bit of a mission in mind as to what you wanted.
Most of these tracks were started in late 2019 or early-mid 2020. I wanted it to sound really bold and confident, with more dance elements than my previous releases. I wrote a lot of the songs at home alone, but some were written in writing sessions like Lights On, This Enchanted, Twin and Sunday Song. I also wrote some with my husband Joe, who plays in the band and does all the visuals too.
Did that deviate much on the finished record?
I think it ended up reflecting some of my newfound confidence but with a lot more darkness than I originally planned I guess. I grapple with feeling completely out of the loop with everyone else, with a lot of doubt and anxiety around my identity and self worth, so it felt more honest to include that as well.
I've been hearing everywhere that your lyrical themes have shifted a bit this time around. Could you tell me what's changed from album one to two....
I've just been more open and honest in general about that inner turmoil. My old music was really centred around love and euphoric feelings in your early 20s, but my scope has widened so much since then.
And your sonic approach in the studio with producers ... did that differ on album two?
Yeah this one was far more collaborative, I opened up the floor to Joe and our producer Jorge more this time around, as well as the songs I mentioned earlier that were written in sessions with other writers.
You've a shortish, albeit impressive list of collaborators on the record. It must've been amazing working with Jorge - what did he bring to the picture that you're taken with?
He's so intelligent and knowledgeable, and has such attention to detail that he won't stop until something is perfect. He totally gets the sound I'm going for and has endless suggestions while giving me space to make the song my own.
How is Joe?
He's great! He's here with me in LA. He's constantly working on the Hatchie live show/artwork or his own music.
What is something personal that you can tell me about the record? Something that makes you cheer or raises your arm hairs when you hear it, something that others may not understand but is super cool to your own ears?
I guess just that I went so much deeper with the lyrics than ever before. I gave songs more time to breathe and continued to re-demo them until I felt happy with the space they were taking up. I wanted this album to be a more honest representation of me and how critical I am of myself. A favourite sonic moment on the record is definitely 'The Rhythm', particularly the chopped up siren at 3:01 and orchestral hits. It was super fun to record.
What does the vinyl format mean to you personally? And do you have a collection - large or small - at any of your home bases? If so, hit me with a personal favourite you love to spin - not the best or coolest, but one that vinyl tends to highlight.
I don't have many records because I'm always moving around and hope to spend a few years away from Brisbane, so I've tried to keep the heavy items limited or I'd have to keep lugging them around between storage spaces, my parents' basement and my own places. A favourite find of mine is A Taste of Honey's self titled record. I found it in an antique store and bought it purely for the cover, then found when I got home that I knew a few of the tracks. It always finds its way into my playlists now.
And what's next? Obviously the tour, but it also feels like you might be taking on the world this time - have you got anything locked in for the future you can tell us about?
I would LOVE to tour corners of the world I haven't been to before in Europe, Asia, South America... We don't have much locked in for the second half of the year yet because it's so difficult to plan ahead right now, but that's my biggest goal.
Thanks for your time on these, and best of luck with it all. Take no prisoners!
HATCHIE' SOPHOMORE ALBUM GIVING THE WORLD AWAY OUT NOW ON IVY LEAGUE