Hopefully you were among the lucky ones to witness Hatchie’s ebullient show at Songbyrd Music House on May 4th.
The Byrd was packed with plenty of mere mortals hungry for the manna of Australian dream pop, but likely a few DC residents were left out. This review is for the unfortunately left out, so you have the necessary motivation to see Hatchie next time she performs in DC.
She is touring for her second album, Giving The World Away (via Secretly Canadian), which came out on April 22nd. The May 4th show was the first on her North America leg of the tour, having just literally flown in from Australia from a show there the previous day.
Hatchie kicked off her 14-song set with “Don’t Leave Me in the Rain”, with its hauntingly poignant opening, and equally mournful lyrics pleading for someone not to leave after investing so much in them.
Then came “This Enchanted” with a dewy, fairy tale quality to the music. The lyrics delve into the high of first romance, to the inevitable fall of the too good to be true. This seems to be a common theme in much of Hatchie’s song writing, of which she is credited for all the songs on the new album.
Hatchie (aka Harriette Pilbeam) is from Brisbane, Australia and started out performing in a couple of bands, including Go Violets, before releasing her first single using her stage name in 2017. That single was “Try” about a partner that may be weary but still willing to try to stay in the relationship.
Her backing band of three jammed out with a guitar, drums and a keyboard. For some of the older songs, Hatchie picked up the bass guitar to accompany her vocals. Most of the lighting featured purples and blues, masking the band and Hatchie’s faces in an eerie, dark glow throughout the set.
The single “Quicksand” may be my favorite song she played at Songbyrd, a song that may resonate with many in recent years about being stuck in place and not having the inertia to get out, yet engulfed in the most upbeat (musical) possibilities. Things are never static, let the music embrace you.
Later she graced us with the undeniably catchy “Lights On”, another single from Giving The World Away, again about falling in love fast, but letting it slip away. In all, she played seven (of the 12) songs from the new album, and it was clear in comparison with older songs that she’s climbing higher with each new album.
The penultimate song of the night (she did not play an encore) was the slower “Her Own Heart”, which sounded like something dreamy and stirring that The Sundays would have been happy to release. And I mean that in a good way.
She ended the night with “Sure”, a song from her first EP Sugar & Spice, that elicited plenty of cheers from the fully enchanted audience. The song speaks to not being convinced about giving a second chance, but maybe, just maybe she can be convinced.
The Hatchie fans in attendance had already been convinced, but now everyone there, fan and newbie to her music alike, were convinced that they’ll be back when she plays in DC again. And convinced to pick up a copy of Giving The World Away. Are you also convinced? Sure.
- Don’t Leave Me in the Rain
- This Enchanted
- Take My Hand
- Giving the World Away
- Without a Blush
- Stay With Me
- Crush (Jennifer Page cover)
- The Rhythm
- Lights On
- Her Own Heart