Imagine the thrill of being a massive fan, simply crazy, about a musician then actually working with your hero? Surely, all music lovers wish this could happen at some point? What now? Just me? Well, this happened to Hannah Georgas.
Well, not really just me and Hannah. Quite a few actually. Emily Massey of Slow Pulp expressed her devotion from the stage to Death Cab for Cutie when her band supported … Death Cab for Cutie. And, in these pages, Léanie Kaleido went a bit skwiffy when Ride legend Mark Gardener produced her LP. And Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins got to play with New Order. OK, it happens a lot. Except I cannot play an instrument and have never recorded anything, so it’ll never happen for me.
Similar situation for Toronto singer/songwriter Hannah Georgas. Huge fan of a particular group. Then, back in 2008, she recorded her debut EP featured a song called ‘The National’. It is a banjo-led lament about bumping into an old flame at a concert featuring … The National.
From fan to working with The National
Fast forward a dozen years, upon the release of her third album All That Emotion. It is produced by none other than Aaron Dessner, a founding member of, you guessed it, The National. Dessner knows Hannah well after she supported the acclaimed US rockers on tour. She was also was enlisted by the group as a backing singer.
Those unfamiliar with her should watch this footage to see why a crack outfit like The National would enlist her. However, the new album marks quite a departure from her earlier material, which sometimes had a significant dance feel.
She said: “Aaron and I agreed the production needed to bring out the truth in my voice. During these sessions we musically found a new depth and, vocally, a delivery that was more raw and expressive, allowing the emotional texture of each song to shine through.”
Indeed, All That Emotion could be said to be her most personal album to date.
“All That Emotion’s album cover is an old family photo,” says Hannah. “I love the image because it captures this calm confidence. It looks like people are watching a performance and it seems like he’s diving in without a second thought. Similarly, I find that it parallels the approach needed within art. The calm confidence of expressing yourself without the thought of consequence, regardless of anyone watching.”
Hannah’s remarkable talent would eventually have brought her to prominence one way or another. Now, it’s three years since All That Emotion was released. She’s on a new label and seemingly is based in London. Hell, maybe she now has a newly recruited bandmate who was a HUGE fan of her music ten years ago! Now, I wonder, is there still time for The Rolling Stones to enlist me?
All That Emotion by Hannah Georgas is available via her website. Recently signed to Real Kind Records, she plays at The House of St Barnabas in London on 18 May 2023.