Dine Alone Records
I wasn’t prepared to like this album as much as I did. My only exposure to Vancouver indie pop artist Hannah Georgas was the jingle she wrote for Wal-Mart a few years back and, charming as it was, breathy vocals and twee musical touches (e.g. glockenspiels) never do much for me. Although her 2010 debut, This is Good, got major love from the critics, the album somehow slipped under my radar. Ah well, it happens.
Anyway, I’m glad I finally got around to hearing Georgas’ work in depth because she can absolutely keep up with other Canadian pop-rock luminaries like Tegan & Sara and Feist. On her new self-titled sophomore album, this West Coaster has discovered some effective backdrops for her delicate, wandering delivery. On the track “Enemies”, the snap of the drums and electronic pulses prevent her voice from floating off into the ether. Because the music has dimension, it helps you appreciate her cozy-as-a-cardigan timbre even more.
What’s more, Georgas has some serious songwriting ability. Listen to the first single “Robotic” and you’ll be crooning the melancholy “I want to be reprogrammed…/ I want to press reset” chorus right along with her. Ditto for the ebullient “Shortie”, where she proclaims her plan to “dance, dance, dance until the cops come.”
The only thing I’d take issue with is Georgas’ tendency to hover in a safe zone, performance wise. If you’re the type who prefers big belters who let their voices crack and fray in the moment, you might find this Rain City gal a little too controlled. On her next record, I’d like to hear her explore her range. But for now, this is a sharp, satisfying batch of songs that will no doubt win her a lot of new fans.
Review appears in the October 4th issue of prairie dog magazine.
Check out a live performance of “Robotic” courtesy of CBC Music: