My Favorite Album: Hatchie on Carole King’s "Tapestry" | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, September 24th, 2020  

My Favorite Album: Hatchie on Carole King’s “Tapestry”

“I find it’s one of the few records that really moves me.”

Sep 11, 2020 Photography by Ian Maddox (for Under the Radar) Issue #66 - My Favorite Album - Angel Olsen and Sleater-Kinney
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For 26-year-old Australian songwriter Harriette Pilbeam, Carole King’s 1971 album Tapestry might seem an odd choice for favorite album. But for Pilbeam, who last year released the dance-y dream pop Keepsake, her full-length debut under the moniker Hatchie, it came down to family. 

“My mom really loved Carole King, and especially that album, so she introduced it to me and my sisters when I was really young,” says Pilbeam. “I remember my mom putting it on in the car and my mom always singing it. And my auntie as well. It really had a place in our home.”

Pilbeam’s parents grew up in the ’60s and ’70s, so her house when she was growing up was full of music of that era. She had three older siblings, so she was also exposed to ’90s pop fare such as The Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, and Kylie Minogue, and like so many others went through a pop-punk phase in her early teens, but it was this timeless album in her parents’ record collection that she came back to when honing her own songcraft.

“It’s really been the last two years, where I’ve gotten right back into [Tapestry],” says Pilbeam. “I think maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking about writing a lot more and because I was trying to delve deeper into female writers that I had overlooked when I was younger. When I was a teenager, I wasn’t really aware of female songwriters or female artists, and now that I’ve gotten older, I’ve really become way more aware of who writes the music I’m listening to.”

For Pilbeam, that music has also become a comfort.

“I find it’s one of the few records that really moves me,” she says. “It’s hard to put it into words. I always put it on when I’m on tour and I feel homesick, which is really nice until ‘Home Again’ comes on or something, and then it’s like, ‘Oh, I’m so sad now.’ Or ‘So Far Away.’”

While there would otherwise seem to be no specific linear connection from Tapestry to Pilbeam’s work as Hatchie, she finds that revisiting this early musical love provides something of a template for her own work.

“I think I’m still getting there,” says Pilbeam. “I’m still figuring out how to be such an honest writer as someone like Carole King. I’m just chipping away at it.”

[Note: This article originally appeared in Issue 66 of Under the Radar’s print magazine. This is its debut online. For the issue we interviewed musicians and actors about their all-time favorite album.]

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