sun 26/05/2019

CD: Hannah Georgas - Hannah Georgas | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Hannah Georgas - Hannah Georgas

CD: Hannah Georgas - Hannah Georgas

Canadian songwriter finds her voice with the help of a little electronic magic

Hannah Georgas: songs with their souls intact, but a little more bite

There’s something in the vocal delivery that calls for comparison to countrywoman Leslie Feist - a subtlety, an unreal-ness - but on her third, self-titled album Canadian songwriter Hannah Georgas has honed a sound of her own. What could easily have been your run-of-the-mill, heart-on-sleeve singer-songwriter material spent a little time in the studio with Graham Walsh of Toronto-based electronica act Holy Fuck and came out with its soul intact, but with just enough bite to make these songs stand out.

I confess to writing Georgas off a little last year, while she was opening for, and performing as part of the touring band of, alternative country powerhouse Kathleen Edwards. It’s because hers is a voice that - bear with me - is perfect for backing vocals, particularly when working in tandem with Edwards’ bourbon-ragged throat. There are occasionally flashes of something similar in the timbre of Georgas’ voice this time around, particularly on ballsy rocker “Millions” (a song inspired by the artist’s original move away from home to begin her musical career), but her vocals generally aren’t extraordinary enough to carry the straightforward semi-acoustic schtick. What Georgas, as Feist before her, needed was a niche; and from the echoey, pulsing opening of “Elephant” it’s clear that she has found one.

It’s obvious in the way that the tracks - or, more accurately, segments of tracks - that stand out are those where Georgas and Walsh play to their more experimental strengths: the darkness of the opener (the “elephant” the title relates to being, of course, the one in the room); the smoothness of the chorus on “Robotic” which, at odds with its lyrical content, is as comfortable as your best-fitting, faded-out jeans; the infectious, ridiculous “Shortie”, inspired apparently by an afternoon watching pop videos on YouTube; the stripped-back bass and snare that carries the kiss-off that is “Someday”. That said, the relatively straightforward “Ode to Mom” is the album’s emotional core, building to its gorgeous “if there’s magic on this planet it’s in the water, it’s in my blood” refrain.

Overleaf: watch the video for "Someday"

What Georgas, as Feist before her, needed was a niche


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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