Brisbane's Hatchie dominated 2017 with the dreamy singles 'Try' and 'Sure' , reviving the best of retro-shoegaze for a modern pop audience.
If you're a dream-pop fan like me you probably don't need me to tell you why Brisbane singer-songwriter HATCHIE is going to blow up like an ethereal dream-pop balloon. Her singles, 'Try' and 'Sure', proved she's got what it takes to stand up to the shoegaze greats while providing some unique sounds of her own.
Having cut her teeth in bands GO VIOLETS and BABAGANOUJ, 2017 was the year Hatchie (aka Harriette Pilbeam) went out on her own, and the impact was immediate. Dropping 'Try', her voice was heard across the world and she became and overnight success, with management and booking deals quickly signed, as well as acclaim from international press. She was then promptly added to festivals like BIGSOUND and VOLUMES, as well as playing a few hometown shows, but the gears were already in motion for something much bigger, and the video for 'Try' only affirmed this further.
With a clearly defined aesthetic, 'Sure' came not too long after, but was enough to cement her as an emerging favourite. Sounding so quintessential in her shoegaze, indie rock stylings that her songs feel like they've always existed, she uses nostalgic influences while looking firmly toward the future to make something that just sounds so special.
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'Try' featured a remarkably retro sound, with a lush layered chorus and a hook worthy of any 90s pop hits compilation. With her debut, Hatchie built a wall of guitars, synths and vocals floating in a pool of reverb that surrounds you from the first measure and doesn't let go.
From here, she released 'Sure', which is where she pulled out all the stops and fully embraced her shoegaze persona. Sounding like the poppiest cuts of Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine and Lush combined, Hatchie weaved the perfect dream-pop track. Melodically, lyrically, sonically, she created a song so good I can feel it in my brain in a way I can't compare to anything that isn't illegal.
Without a hint of exaggeration, I firmly believe if Hatchie had been around in the early 90s when shoegaze was in its heyday, she would have been up there with the best of the best. With a remarkable grasp on retro pop songwriting with her own personal twist, Hatchie dropped some of the best tracks of 2017 and is 'Sure' to drop a whole heap more in 2018.
Image: Joseph Crackett/Only Odd for Purple Sneakers – peep the full gallery here.
WORDS BY MAX LEWIS