HatchiePhoto by Joe Agius, courtesy of Grandstand Media
The international dream-pop artist Hatchie has had lots to celebrate over the last couple of whirlwind years. Her acclaimed 2018 EP Sugar & Spice featured a song which was remixed by a member of Cocteau Twins, a huge Hatchie influence. She was dubbed “the dream-pop idol of tomorrow” by Pitchfork. She’s now on a cross-country tour of the United States supporting indie rockers, Girlpool.
Lots to celebrate, but when she arrives in Houston for a show at Satellite Bar on May 4, she’ll have something more familiar, but still special, to commemorate. May 4 will be her 26th birthday. When we spoke with her by phone while she was still trekking eastward, we asked how she planned to mark the occasion here in Houston.
“I honestly have no idea. It's hard to plan things in advance when you're on tour because every day you have to be at a venue at a different time, sometimes it's 4 p.m., sometimes it's not 'til 7 p.m., so hopefully we can grab a nice lunch or dinner,” she said. “I don't know. I'm not really that much of a birthday person. It won't be anything too crazy."
It’s hard to pinpoint what might be “too crazy” for Hatchie. The Australian singer and multi-instrumentalist was born Harriette Pilbeam and adopted her performance name with her debut single, “Try,” in 2017. In 2018, Sugar & Spice bowed and gained traction thanks to the track, “Sure,” which Cocteau Twins guitarist Robin Guthrie remixed. 2019’s big news is her new album, Keepsake. Her debut LP, due in June, continues this artist’s rapid ascent, though she sees everything moving much slower than she’d like.
“I’m really excited for it to be out,” she said of the album, which drops June 21. “It feels like I finished it so long ago. We finished recording in December so I’m really ready for it to be out because, I don’t know, I’m a very impatient person.”
Part of that impatience is knowing she’s building on the sounds and themes her fans have come to expect in her songs. She said the new album explores friendship as a motif, something that’s important to her, and how we relate to others at difficult moments is key in songs like the recently released single “Stay With Me.” That track is a bit of a departure from Sugar & Spice. She’s called it “fun and dancey” and said she wasn’t sure it would fit her oeuvre, but decided to include it on Keepsake “because I'm a sucker for crying-in-the-club tracks."
The album’s first single, “Without a Blush,” also reflects on a failed relationship but its sound leans to industrial pop. She said the best part of doing a full-length was having the chance to mix things up as an evolving songwriter. It’s still Hatchie, she said of the new music, but it’s reflective of her growth.
“It’s an expanded version of the music I was making before the album which is a bit more glossy and high energy and poppy, whereas the album kind of expands on those sounds and covers a few different areas I wanted to explore,” she said.
Touring with Girlpool, she said she’s been pleasantly surprised by how receptive audiences have been to the Keepsake tracks. She hopes Houston fans will help celebrate her birthday and the work she’s done these last few, busy years. And, she said, fans should expect to celebrate quickly and prepare for whatever is next. She’s eager to continue her development as an artist.
“I feel like the EP sounds so young to me. I feel like I did it so long ago, even though it actually came out about a year ago. A couple of those songs were written two, three years before, so I’m really ready to just have new music out there.”
Hatchie and Girlpool visit Satellite Bar, 6922 Harrisburg, on their current tour, Saturday, May 4. With Houston’s own Rose Ette. 9 p.m., all ages, $13-$15.
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