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The National’s treasure

Imagine the thrill of actually touring with or recording in a band you really, really like. Surely, all music lovers think this at some point. What now? Just me? Well, this happened to Hannah Georgas.

Hannah Georgas. Photo credits: Vanessa Heins.

Back in 2008, the Torontonian singer/songwriter’s debut EP featured a song called ‘The National’, a banjo-led lament about bumping into an old flame at a concert by … The National.

Fast forward a dozen years, to today, when she releases her third album All That Emotion, produced by none other than Aaron Dessner, a founding member of, you guessed it, The National. By now, Dessner knows exactly what Hannah is capable after she supported the critically acclaimed US rockers on tour and was enlisted by the band as a backing singer as well.

The National in full flow.

Those unfamiliar with her oeuvre should check out this footage to see why a crack outfit like The National would take her on board.

However, the new album marks quite a departure from her earlier material, which sometimes had a significant dance feel to it.

By way of explanation, 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 have brought her to prominence one way or another. Now, I wonder, is there still time for The Rolling Stones to enlist me?

All That Emotion (Brassland/Arts & Crafts) is released today
(4 September 2020).

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