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CD of The Week

Week of 4/25/22

    Hatchie - Giving The World Away (Secretly Canadian)

    "Time is pointed at me like a gun," Hariette Pilbeam (a.k.a. Hatchie) sings in "Don't Leave Me In The Rain." On Giving The World Away, the second full-length release from the Brisbane artist, it's evident that Hatchie's lyrics have developed. Previous efforts were filled with the delights of love and romance set to catchy, fuzzy nuggets of indie-pop. Here she is more self-reflective; wrestling with anxiety, aging, and loneliness, albeit with a more positive outlook. At age 28, she's really feeling the crunch of time in the aforementioned lyric, but before any Gen X-ers pop off about aging, let's remember that Millennials are perceiving the world at a faster pace, set adrift in the digital ether and with completely different expectations. Not to mention the unending task of juggling said expectations that are both self-imposed and projected onto them by others.

    Musically, the nostalgia meter is high on GTWA, which pulls from the electro-pop, house music, and shoegaze of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Is that a long-lost Happy Mondays outtake as the backbeat on last year's upbeat lead single "This Enchanted?" On the standout track "Quicksand," it almost sounds like New Order's bassist Peter Hook happened by the studio that day. "Sunday Song" introduces a softer side, with Pillbeam’s lovely voice paired with an acoustic guitar; "I don't even know if I'm in view, But I could leave a light on for you." Added effects of airy brass and sampled spoken words turn up the sparkle on "Take My Hand" where she reflects on processing her self-esteem issues by extending the proverbial hand, not to a lover, but to herself. "Twin" is one of her most Cocteau Twins sounding songs yet; a band whose dream-pop vibe stands out as the most influential.

    Hatchie collaborates here with RINSE frontman Joe Agius, producer Jorge Elbrecht, and Beach House drummer James Barone to create some truly cinematic sounds, filling the room with walls of fuzzy guitars and synths paired with punchy percussion, jangly guitars and Pillbeam’s strong, yet ethereal voice. Obvious influences aside, Hatchie continues to develop her sound, by creating a more confident and signature aura of her own. "The Rhythm" may possess the most personified lyric on the album as she settles in; "Took some time for me to find the rhythm, it’s hard to see but believe in me, it's within." By recognizing her own faults and strengths, and by coming to terms with her own vulnerability, Hatchie gifts the listener with empowerment; adding a little more shine to the world and reminding us to look for it in unexpected places.

    Hatchie heads back to Philadelphia for a show at The Foundry on Thursday, May 5th.
    Review by Dave Lindquist

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