Hatchie is not here to be pinned down. While the Australian singer-songwriter's breakthrough EP Sugar & Spice caught hype and affection just last year, it also cast her into a seemingly set role. Right on down to its gleaming cover art, it was a PR fantasy, as easily sold as it was bought by listeners.

This proper debut LP Keepsake, then, feels something like a defensive measure. Hatchie is showing more of leader Harriette Pilbeam, and while the music is still sugar, the words here carry far more spice.

The songwriting is largely preoccupied with a deteriorating relationship, whether real or imagined. Keepsake comes out swinging, with 'Not That Kind' immediately setting the stage with a decidedly cautious love ballad, containing gems such as, "Oh, and fate keeps trying to find me / But I'm not the kind of girl to let it define me."

Despite a reduction in overt gloss, Keepsake is at its best when Pilbeam leans into her innate pop instincts. As hesitant as she may be to go full Carly Rae Jepsen, the likes of 'Obsessed' are earworms so effortless they'd make any pop darling green with envy for ease with which they seem to flow. Hatchie creates bops without all the bells and whistles, songwriting and grooves so convicted the listener finds themselves entranced without the likes of a soaring hook or busy backing track.

Keepsake feels a bit more akin to a tentative step forward than a leap into the stratosphere, but for a debut it's stuffed with endless charm and promise. If Hatchie is still deciding whether she prefers songwriter or pop favorite, or simply to continue deftly straddling in between, the act of dipping her feet in the water is more than enough to create a strong current here.