Hatchie has found a cinematic flair in her songwriting that has in-turn created this visual backdrop for her highly anticipated sophomore album ‘Giving The World Away’ (out now, via Ivy League Records). The confident twelve track collection is a bold exploration of her artistry that asserts a confidence within her production and songwriting that hears her pushing these soundscapes even further.
Stepping into her own lane, this lush body of work is an ethereal listen from start to finish. After the release of her debut album ‘Keepsake’ in 2019, she’s taken a theatrical approach with this record that cites a lot of 90’s and early 2000’s references, with ‘Lights On’ being a glittery representation of that. But she also looks towards the future and hones experimental moments like ‘The Rhythm’ to be key centre pieces of the record.
With the live show in mind, she wanted to push herself to create these special celebratory moments that we’ve all missed over the past two years. After testing some of new songs on the road recently, she will return to Australia for a headlining national tour in August and September before supporting Wallows in November.
I recently chatted to Hatchie about the confident and cinematic identity behind her sophomore album ‘Giving The World Away’, and explored the stories behind tracks like ‘The Rhythm’, ‘Lights On’ and ‘Take My Hand’. Check it out BELOW;
THOMAS BLEACH: Your sophomore album ‘Giving The World Away’ feels like a very confident, cinematic, and fully-realised body of work. Ahead of releasing this record, what are the emotions you are feeling when you think about your personal connection with the album?
HATCHIE: I feel really proud of it. It was a lot of hard work, but in a really good rewarding way, and not in a terrible and difficult way. I really wanted to push myself, and I think I did that especially lyrically as I put a lot more time, effort and thought into the lyrics than I did with the previous releases. I just feel so relieved and proud of myself for doing what I set out to do. And now I’m just really excited to push forward and make more music.
TB: Like I mentioned before, this album feels very cinematic. Does it have a cinematic identity to you?
H: Yeah, totally. I wanted to create distinct emotions and feelings and tell stories sonically, and not just with the lyrics. And I think I have done that with these songs.
TB: Your debut album ‘Keepsake’ was a very important introduction that laid the foundations for the theatrical approach to this record. Looking back on the creative process of your 2019 debut and touring it, what did that teach you about where you wanted this next record to go sonically and aesthetically?
H: I really wanted it to be more detailed, and just sound huge. I loved performing the songs off my album and my EP, but I just wanted something more exciting and interesting to me sonically. As well as something that the crowd could really move and sing along to. I think it was just really important for me to expand and create something that was big, exciting, and lush.
TB: Yes, very lush! Because sonically I heard a lot of 90’s and early 2000’s pop references from Alanis Morissette to The Corrs and even Garbage echoing through these very lush soundscapes. Did these era’s actually have a significance for you during the creative process?
H: Definitely! I love Garbage. I’m always listening to Kylie Minogue and Madonna, and I love the Corrs. I love the Cardigans as well. They are most of the major ones that I can think of from that period. I do love modern pop as well. I was listening to a lot of Charli XCX and Caroline Polachek. So a lot of pop fed into it. I feel like it was 50 percent alternative, and 50 percent pop in terms of influences. So I’m glad you could hear some of those coming through.
TB: ‘The Rhythm’ is a song that immediately stands out on the record with its grungy pop twist. Can you explain the creative process behind this track?
H: This is one that my husband Joe, who I collaborate with for the Hatchie project, started working on with the sounds you hear in the intro and the verse. We were in the middle of lockdown and we were just spending our days working on music all day. We usually would work on our own, but sometimes we’d collaborate on something together that we were working on, or start something from scratch. So this is one he started, and I helped him figure out the concept and wrote all of the lyrics.
He was just playing around with a lot of Eastern instruments, and trying to create something different and big. We definitely had the live show in mind while we were writing this track. I just wanted it to sound really confident, almost to the point of it sounding cocky, as I wanted to write about my journey with my self-confidence that I’ve gone through in the last five years. So I really wanted that to show with the instrumentation as well as the lyrics.
TB: Definitely! Because that grungy guitar and drum breakdown is EVERYTHING!
H: Thank you! That took us a little while to figure out. At first we just put in some placeholder noises as we couldn’t figure out what we wanted until we found an orchestral kit.
TB: Now let’s talk about THAT hook in ‘Lights On’, because to me that is a perfect pop chorus. I can’t fault that refrain at all. So how long did that chorus take to find its unique groove?
H: Honestly, no time at all. We did that song in a writing session with Jorge Elbrecht who ended up producing the whole album. We did ‘Lights On’ on day one, and then ‘This Enchanted’ on day two. But with ‘Lights On’ we got the verse and chorus down in just a day session. It came really quickly. We did work on the lyrics for a while when we came back to working on the album a few months later, and we wrote the bridge at home during lockdown. But the verses and the chorus fell into place very quickly. Particularly the chorus, as the chorus lyrics didn’t change from that first day.
TB: ‘Take My Hand’ is another standout on the record, and it has quite a cinematic flair to it. Did you strongly see a visual identity when working on this track?
H: This one actually went through a few changes. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it at first. I even did a demo version where I sped it up and made it more of a 90’s dance track, because I was a bit stuck on this one to be honest. So no, this one didn’t have a strong visual for me originally. I knew it had something I really wanted to hold onto and develop, but it took me a while to find the exact sound you can hear now. I was listening to a lot of trip-hop when I wrote it, so I wanted it to sound quite crisp and clean. But then I ended up adding a lot of percussion and extra guitars, and it’s become quite thick and warm, opposed to cool tones and crisp like the references I initially had for it.
TB: I was going to ask you what song on the album went through the most dramatic change from the original demo. So would it be ‘Take My Hand’, or is there one that went through more?
H: Probably ‘Quicksand’ or ‘The Key’ went through the most changes. I was writing them both for the longest amount of time as I started them in late 2019. ‘Quicksand’ was originally super pop and simple. It was more straight-up “happy” sounding pop, as it had different lyrics and was more of an in-love song. But then I realised I had too many songs about being in love so I changed it, and then it transformed so much. I did a version by myself, and then I did a version with Joe, and then I did a version with Dan Nirgo in LA, and then it still had a few more production changes after that.
‘The Key’ was kinda the same as I did a version by myself, but I couldn’t figure out what the chorus, pre-chorus, or the bridge should be, so I worked on it with Joe and he helped with structure to really solidify it. But it took a lot of time, and a lot of pushing and pulling back and forth where we weren’t certain on it until we got to the version that you hear on the record now.
TB: Are you someone who suffers from demoitis really badly?
H: Yes! When I think about it I didn’t suffer from it too badly with this album. I had it more with the last record. With this one we really pushed to make them sound the best they possibly could, so I could actually sleep at night knowing that they definitely sound better than the demos. With the last record there are definitely a few that I still listen to that I think “oh, maybe I shouldn’t have changed that”. Whereas we were in lockdown for a lot of the creative process of this record, so we had the time to put into it with no distractions.
TB: Like I mentioned before, this album is very cinematic. So are film scores something that inspires you creatively? Because I definitely heard some cool production quirks on this record that I could imagine hearing in a soundtrack.
H: Oooh, yeah! Something I really wanted to do when I was younger was work on soundtracks for movies as I thought that would be a really cool, interesting, and fun job. So I definitely think my love for movies has had a key role in my musicianship.
TB: Even looking at the music videos for these songs I think there is a very cinematic and visual identity there. Especially with night time stylistically playing a major role. For me the scene when you were walking over the Story Bridge and through the city spoke to me as walking through the city at night is how I actually listen to new music and process my thoughts on things happening in my life. Is this something that you also do?
H: Yes! I listen to a lot of music when I’m on sunset walks. I think listening to music a) while you’re walking, and b) while you’re looking at the sunset, even those two things separately can be really integral to how you hear and feel about the music. So I think going for a walk at sunset is a very specific feeling you get.
TB: You recently performed ‘The Rhythm’, ‘Lights On’, ‘Quicksand’ and ‘This Enchanted’ while on tour. Did you learn anything further about your connection with the songs from taking them into the live space and seeing fans embrace them physically?
H: Like I mentioned before, ‘The Rhythm’ is all about finding confidence and feeling good about yourself, so performing it live really solidified that for myself, and I’m really satisfied with it as when we perform it live now I feel like I can illustrate that.
‘Quicksand’ is a really hard song to perform. Vocally it’s harder to perform than I think I realised, so it’s definitely been a bit of a challenge which I guess makes sense as that is what all of the lyrics are about.
TB: Let’s play a rapid fire of questions about the album. Are you ready?
H: I’m nervous, but okay!
TB: The emoji that best describes my new album ‘Giving The World Away’ is…
H: The dove! I think spreading my wings and flying is a great analogy for this record, so I’m going to go with that one.
TB: The song that nearly didn’t make the album was…
H: I think people will be shocked to know it was ‘Quicksand’. I was really not sure it was the direction I wanted to take Hatchie in, and almost pulled the plug on it a few times. Also ‘Sunday Song’ nearly got pulled a few times.
TB: The song I’m looking most forward to performing live would be…
H: I think it’s still ‘Lights On’ and ‘The Rhythm’ as they are so fun to play live. Oh, also ‘This Enchanted’.
TB: Another name for the album I played with was…
H: None. I never thought I would go with a song name for an album title, but when I had that song name it really just made sense to me as it encapsulated this whole record.
TB: If your friend hadn’t heard any of my new music, the first track I would play them off the album would be…
H: ‘The Rhythm’ as it’s a bit of a surprising one.
‘Giving The World Away’ is out now!
HATCHIE AUSTRALIAN TOUR
Friday 26 August – Jive – Adelaide
Saturday 27 August – Magnet House, Perth
Friday 2 September – Factory Theatre, Sydney
Saturday 3 September – The Triffid, Brisbane
Friday 9 September – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Tickets Available HERE