Brisbane, Australia is sometimes derided as "Brisvegas," a crack at the city's supposed lack of sophistication. But Australian musician Harriette Pilbeam might disagree that her home city lacks culture: She has spent the past few years honing her power-pop chops in the bands Babaganouj and Go Violets, part of Brisbane's not-insubstantial indie-rock scene.
Now, as a solo artist under the name Hatchie, Pilbeam has retained her pop sensibilities but taken them in a dreamier direction. "Try," Hatchie's first single, is a shimmering shoegaze debut. The song is hazy and misty, but with pop-rooted forward momentum; the glistening guitars and synthesizers, along with Pilbeam's ethereal vocal delivery, evoke (apt) Cocteau Twins comparisons. Heaven or Brisvegas, anyone?
In the video for the single, Pilbeam exudes Aussie cool: casually aloof, but thrilled to show you around her hometown. "I wanted the film clip to be a simple introduction to Hatchie rather than something really polished with a concept," she told NPR Music in an email, so she and her crew shot the video in Brisbane over the course of a week. "We felt like it was missing something in the second half of the song," Pilbeam explains, "so when we heard there were going to be fireworks at a nearby showground we took the opportunity to get some final shots which I think really take it to another level." As the song ends, the fireworks match the song's sound perfectly: layers of glimmering sparkle, like the lights on the Las Vegas strip.