Hatchie: Giving the World Away review – newfound confidence

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(Secretly Canadian)
Lyrical depths and glossy warmth infuse the Australian’s lush second album


A winning blend of pop melodies and shoegaze textures defines the sound of Brisbane’s Harriette Pilbeam – AKA Hatchie. Songs such as the superb opener here, Lights On, join the (admittedly quite distant) dots between the Cocteau Twins and All Saints; Quicksand and This Enchanted are both blessed with huge choruses. While her influences are not hard to spot – Sky Ferreira, La Roux (on the title track particularly), Mazzy Star, Carly Rae Jepsen – they are configured in imaginative and distinctive new combinations, with lush production care of Jorge Elbrecht. In that respect, at least, Pilbeam’s second album feels like a logical progression from her 2019 debut, Keepsake, a minor success in her home country.

Where Giving the World Away sees a great leap forward, however, is with its lyrics. The enforced solitude of lengthy Covid lockdowns gave Pilbeam plenty of time to contemplate and process issues around self-esteem and self-image, which she had long struggled with. Her newfound confidence is reflected in the likes of Take My Hand, with its reassuring refrain of “you don’t have to change”, and it imbues her glossy songs with warmth and intimacy.

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