In conversation with Hatchie

Interview by Shannon Lawlor

Harriette Pilbeam, aka Hatchie is musician and vocalist currently based in Brisbane, Australia. Hatchie’s first solo endeavour Sugar & Spice EP (set for May 25th release) is a hazy-fuzz-filled journey through Pilbeam’s own dreamy landscape. Rather than focusing on the external world of her daily life in Brisbane, Pilbeam instead turns her gaze inwards, making a soundtrack out of her daydreams, setting her emotional life to song.

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. (Dates available below!)

We caught up with Hatchie on recording journies and tour excitement:

For anyone foreign to Hatchie’s euphoric-haze, how would you personally describe the music you create?

I think it’s best described as dream-pop!

Hatchie’s debut EP Sugar & Spice drops on May 25th via Heavenly Recordings. Could you detail this recording process, and how it may have differed to past studio encounters?

It was different from past recording sessions I’ve done, because it was completed in separate sessions over about 2 years. In other bands I’ve been in, we usually pump out a couple of tracks over a few solid days. I wanted to sit on these tracks and make sure I was really sure of the direction they were headed in. We recorded ‘Try’ and the framework of ‘Sleep’ and ‘Sugar and Spice’ in March and December 2016 and completed those two tracks and ‘Bad Guy’ in early 2018. I wrote them and brought the demos to my partner Joe Agius who helped me develop them into fuller songs, before recording with John Castle in Melbourne.  

‘Try’ is an emotive voyage through fuzz-filled skyscapes. What was the inspiration behind this song? And where do you usually like to seek influence from when writing?

I was feeling really down at that moment and just wanted to write something to make me feel better about pushing through. I guess I mainly make reference to sonic influences like my favourite music more than anything else. I’m a very introspective person so my lyrics usually come from personal experience or watching interactions and people around me.

Are there any instruments, pieces of hardware or software that you feel is absolutely essential in creating Hatchie’s signature and unique tone?

I guess there are a bunch of guitar pedals that always help hone in on my favourite sounds, but I’m honestly still enjoying exploring what my sound really is. A little chorus goes a long way though!

If Hatchie could collaborate with anyone on the planet – who would it be, and why?

I’d really love to work with Caroline Polacheck and Charlie XCX. I think they’re both amazingly talented and intelligent!

As a woman in the music industry, do you feel that your current working environment is egalitarian? And have you ever faced discrimination in the industry?

I think 2018, will be a year of change in the industry, however slow it may seem. My team is certainly egalitarian – I work with a close group of smart, socially conscious women and men who work together respectfully and thoughtfully. I’m yet to face any direct discrimination as Hatchie, but on a wider scale, there is definitely an imbalance in the industry which I hope begins to adjust this year.

How would you describe Brisbane’s live music scene? And how does it compare to playing shows in London or other parts of Europe?

Brisbane’s live music scene is growing to include a new wave of younger artists who are beginning to find their feet. It’s a much bigger scene than I’m probably even aware of, as I’ve recently been going to less gigs, but it’s great. I’m not sure what the UK/EU scene is like, as I’m just beginning to play shows in the UK, but everybody has been really welcoming and receptive to my releases & shows so far.

Care to name some of your personal favourite releases of the year so far?

Right now I’m loving Show Me How by Men I Trust, Me & Michael by MGMT, Cool by Soccer Mommy.

After the EP release and tour, what does the future hold for Hatchie?

I’m really excited to finish writing a stack of new songs and hopefully get back to the US & UK soon and make our debut in Europe!

See Hatchie live in the UK:

5th May – Live at Leeds, LEEDS
5-6th May – Sound City Festival, LIVERPOOL
6th May – Sounds from the Other City, SALFORD
7th May – Hare & Hound, BIRMINGHAM
8th May – The Hug & Pint, GLASGOW
10th May – Shacklewell Arms, LONDON
16th May – The Social, LONDON
17-19th May – The Great Escape, BRIGHTON
22nd May – Sebright Arms, LONDON

Preorder Sugar & Spice EP by Hatchie

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