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Live Review: Hatchie's 'Sleep' is revisionist pop at its best

5 May 2018 | 9:11 am | Kyle Fensom

Hatchie's fourth single, 'Sleep', is a dream-pop anthem to the weariness of loving someone who can't communicate that love back to you.

HATCHIE has offered us a fourth tasting from her upcoming debut EP. 'Sleep' is a sumptuous, dream-pop anthem to the weariness of loving someone who can’t communicate their feelings back to you.

A glittering synth melody tugs at the strings of familiarity, sounding close enough to evoke feelings of teenage suburban nostalgia without falling into blatant appropriation territory. It’s one of those rare lines that feels like you might’ve already heard it in some other place and time, like an unplaceable, nebulous melody that’s floating around in your mind. Hatchie’s music is ahistorical in the best sense: a seemingly effortless combination of jangling dream-pop guitars, the hazy production of 80’s shoegaze and 90’s indie-pop melodies that immerses you within her introspective world.

Hatchie uses these reference points constructively rather than derivatively, playing off the comforting familiarity of past culture to augment her wistfully romantic songwriting. When she collapses time like this, it makes her music sound as if it belongs in some fugue state where it’s simultaneously always existed as the end-credits montage to a John Hughes movie, but could also only exist right now, coming direct to you from Hatchie’s bedroom.

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But before you can get too enveloped within the addictively dripping synth line, ‘Sleep’ blossoms into full effect, launching right into the soaring chorus. Churning guitars and punchy drums give the track a lurch of forward momentum that it rides to its conclusion. Of the track, Hatchie says that: “‘Sleep’ is about feeling frustrated with someone who can’t communicate their feelings. In this song I’m trying to coax someone into talking to me by any means necessary, even if it means visiting me in my dreams”.

Her bittersweet vocals layered in thick harmonies are tinged with both a sense of fatigue and an optimistic glimmer that won’t let you give up just yet. The chorus captures a quiet resignation: “You don’t have to speak out loud / You can say it in your sleep / Just come see me in your dreams / No wonder I’m smiling in my sleep”. It’s the sound of someone accepting someone else for who they are - and maybe even loving them for it - but finding it slightly exhausting nonetheless.

The visuals, directed by frequent collaborator, JOE AGUIS, plays on these ideas, employing a now-familiar palette of neon-soaked haze as Hatchie lies around in her bed. She sits amidst the clouds and wanders through a forest of cardboard-cut-out stars and moons.

“We decided to try play on the idea that I’m trying to get someone to communicate with me in their sleep”, Hatchie says. “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”.

Sugar & Spice is out May 25th viaIvy League Records - you can pre-order it here.

Hatchie will be touring nationally in support of her debut EP - find all the details and tickets below:

Photo by Alex Wall

Words by Kyle Fensom