Hatchie’s “Sleep” is a song so gloriously youthful, it feels ready-made for a big movie montage. In fact, if this glittering, 1980s-inspired jam was used in any of the pivotal musical moments from a Molly Ringwald flick, all of the teen joy might shine even brighter. Even though the Brisbane, Australia band has only released three dream pop singles so far, they’re clearly already experts in making lowkey anthems you want to dance to behind a closed bedroom door.
The conductor of all this emotion is singer Harriette Pilbeam, whose voice is sweet but smarting. The production interplays between bubbly layered vocal lines and unprocessed, deadpan ones, allowing her to sell the song’s melancholy premise—that if love and fun is absent in the waking life, it can feel just as real in a dream—with panache. She sings the kind of lines teens get tattooed on their bodies—“Do you still believe in fate?/That great love still awaits?/Or is it really too late?”—so full of regret and optimism. This is mirrored by her band, who create a backdrop of crisp synth melodies and bright guitar that moves forward like an energetic daydream. Bucking its title, “Sleep” is hardly sleepy; rather it’s the kind of song that is best heard in a convertible speeding down a sunny highway, end credits rolling right behind.