"I was going through some big changes..." - Hannah Georgas talks her new album All That Emotion
Over the course of her career, Canadian singer-songwriter Hannah Georgas has quietly delivered a gorgeous array of melancholic indie-pop goodness, and her new effort, All That Emotion, is no exception.
The album is the follow-up to 2016's For Evelyn and has been produced by Aaron Dessner of The National.
As the album comes out, we spoke to Georgas about why this is an LP born from deep personal introspection...
It’s a very strange time to be releasing a record, have you managed to enjoy the process at all?
"It’s been a while since I’ve put out original music so it does feel refreshing to be releasing new songs. It feels pretty surreal not to be touring though. I practised with my band for the first time recently in months and realised how much I truly love to play. I’m trying to stay optimistic about it all and feel really proud of these songs."
Did you have a goal of how you wanted the album to move on from what you did on For Evelyn?
"I think I wanted to try some new ways to approach my writing and demo process and find new ways to challenge myself. I had approached my last two albums the same way and so I really tried to make a conscious effort to try something different. I really wanted to work with Aaron Dessner and have his input."
How did the collaboration with Aaron come about? He must have been busy with The National...
"I reached out to Aaron back in 2015 because I'm a fan of his work. We connected over email and I started sending him demos. Our back and forth over email continued up until 2018 when we found time to get together at his studio in Upstate New York to work on songs."
What did he give you as a producer?
"Aaron really added a new depth and quality to the production of the songs. He has this incredible ability to make things sound so lush and provide a lot of intricate detail and yet still make everything sound so spacious. We both talked about how important the vocals are. We wanted to make sure that they were expressive and carried proper depth and warmth."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is there a theme to it?
"I know what I was writing about had a lot to do with what was going on with me in 2017. I was going through some big changes in my work and personal life. I was reflecting on my past relationships and unpacking why I do the things I do and feel the way I feel."
"It’s a lot about giving yourself time to digest major changes and wrapping your head around the obstacles that feel challenging. Understanding that later down the road the challenging moments that felt so tough will help you grow and learn more about yourself."
Which song on the album took the longest to get right?
"I think 'Habits' was the last song that came together for us in the studio. We tried a couple of different versions. We started with a more intimate approach and decided we need to make it more upbeat."
And which came together most quickly?
"'That Emotion' and 'Easy' came together quite quickly and were the first ones that we checked off right away."
When did you settle on All That Emotion for the title? Were there any other titles in contention?
"I settled on that title maybe a few months after Aaron and I finished the recording process. I have such a hard time titling songs and albums. Sometimes I come up with really bad titles. I definitely lean on friends to help me although the album title was something that felt right and I figured out on my own."
"I honestly don’t think I had any other titles that contended with that one. I think one of my friends suggested Family of Wolves? That didn’t feel right though."
Are you able to make any live plans at the moment? Or are you looking towards 2021?
"I recently got together with my band for the first time since February to rehearse. We are planning a livestream show that we’ll stream on September 24th. I have tentative shows on the books for next year but I’m not sure if they will happen or not. I’m sure I’ll do some more things online and go back to playing shows when things feel safe."
How have you spent lockdown? Have you kept writing?
"I’ve been keeping myself busy with music. Working on getting this album out and doing some creating and cowriting. I’m trying "to think ahead and I have some cool things I’ll be releasing at some point. In my free time I get out for walks, go to the lake and have watched a couple of good shows.
Hannah Georgas' new album All That Emotion is out now in hmv stores.