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It’s your birthday; you might have some drinks, eat some cake, you will probably “go shorty” at some point. Maybe you’ll release a sparkling debut track? Sign a management deal and an international agent… That’s pretty much how Hatchie’s birthday went off this year.
After sending her first solo single Try out into the world, it seems to be all happy returns. It’s not everyday that Richard Kingsmill decides that your song is the sole reason the sun is shining.
Dazzling, dreamy and effortlessly decadent, Try by Hatchie is music for when the sun is shining. Not bad at all for a solo debut.
Just one listen to this dreamy, persuasive gem and you will understand how all the above happened. A hazy pop vision intertwining a sugary, synth laden chorus with darker undertones and ear worm vocals, Try really is a fantastic debut. But before we get too caught up in this industry fairytale, Hatchie, aka Harriette Pilbeam, has more than earned her stripes.
Having played as part of both Babaganouj and Go Violets, Pilbeam is far from being an overnight success. Recording outside of her bands began with the writing of Try;
“It’s a project that has been in the works for about two years now. It’s an outlet for my more personal and pop writing after playing bass for the last few years. It’s my first solo project so I spend a lot of time experimenting with analogue synths and pedals to get my ideal dream pop sound.”
Beginning with an upload to triple J Unearthed, the response to the song has been glowing – and littered with puns around the track title. Hatchie may have the benefit of experience, but the reality is that Try really is a beautifully crafted track.
Having honed her pop leanings over the years to incorporate a deeper, indie feel into her writing and production, Try seems to perfectly encapsulate her efforts. Hatchie herself gave us the skinny on her writing process:
“To be honest, this song isn’t about any particular thing that happened to me or a moment in my life. I guess the chorus lyrics were kind of written as a letter to myself. I was feeling really down about a few things, particularly music, when I wrote the chorus. Then when I realised I really liked it and wanted to build a song around that part, I expanded on it with lyrics that kind of tell a story to match.”
“While I’m writing and demoing songs I write a lot of lyrics based on how they sound rather than what they mean, with the intention of coming back and fixing them up when the rest of the music has been written. Sometimes the original nonsense lyrics are what actually make the most sense to me sonically so I don’t try to force something more meaningful or intelligent to fit!”
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Accompanied by a “basic DIY clip”, Hatchie worked with Joe Agius on the video for Try. With a VHS grain and muted colours, the clip follows a retro looking Hatchie in retro looking pursuits. From a lonely 60s cocktail party to an 80s style swimming pool, the solo figure has the kind of staged, mock seriousness of a Chairlift video.
Since its release, Try has caught the attention of industry and fans alike; including Jacob Snell of Monster Management (Tired Lion, Cloud Control, Methyl Ethel), and also Paul Buck of Coda Agency. Both agencies will now be representing Hatchie as a solo artist. It’s clear that Hatchie has made a rock solid beginning with Try, so we asked her how she will follow up such a great debut:
“I have a few songs ready for release and a whole stack of demos ready to finish off in the studio very soon. Try is a good representation of all of them, it kind of sits in the middle of the spectrum of the super ‘pop’ sounding songs I’ve written and the darker ones.”