No music writer will win any prizes for pointing out where Harriette Pilbeam, aka Hatchie, is coming from. Not to do so though would be ignoring the elephant in the room. Right down to the blurred cover photo, no one familiar with the dream-pop of the Cocteau Twins, the Sundays, Lush or My Bloody Valentine will find anything especially new about Keepsake, the Brisbane singer-songwriter’s debut album.
But with that out of the way, dwelling on those influences – influences which Pilbeam herself has acknowledged – also misses the point. If you are already conversant with those aforementioned acts, there is much to like here. If you aren’t, it hardly matters: everything old is new again. Keepsake’s lead single Without A Blush has already notched over 750,000 Spotify streams; Sure, from last year’s Sugar And Spice EP, has clocked 3.5 million (including a remix by the Cocteaus’ Robin Guthrie).
What’s made Hatchie jump out of the pack is her voice. Even drenched in endless layers of effects and reverb, it’s got a keening, yearning quality that cuts right through Keepsake’s washed-out guitar textures, and the background hubbub of any cafe or club in which it appears.… Read more..