When Hannah Georgas released her debut EP, The Beat Stuff, in 2008, her pop tendencies were subtle and washed by folk instrumentation. But they were there, infusing Georgas' lyrics about heartbreak with incredibly catchy hooks. She went bubblier on her debut album, and more vibrant on her synth-powered 2012 self-titled record. On her third LP, For Evelyn, named for her 98-year-old grandmother, Georgas once again has two feet firmly planted in the pop world, but this time around it's one of incredible depth.
For Evelyn is Georgas' most confident record yet. Though she opens it by admitting, "I wake up in the middle of the night thinking, 'Oh my God, who the hell am I?'" an assertiveness quickly quells these late night anxieties as she becomes determined to take hold of her life. This self-assurance shines through again when her response to the end of a relationship is acceptance, singing, "When you left me, I was ready for you to leave" ("Walls") and again as she courageously says goodbye to a city that no longer feels like home ("City").
None of Georgas' previous records sound alike, and For Evelyn is no exception as she expands her pop palette with the help of collaborative producer Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck). The horn section on "Waste" — courtesy of Joseph Shabason (Destroyer, the War On Drugs) — is uplifting and the synth riff of "Naked Beaches" positively shines, but there's also a sadness that lingers throughout the record. "Angel All The Time" and "City" are both swirling, piano-driven songs that are steeped in a complex, enchanting melancholy.
With its rich sonic landscape and Georgas' confident lyrics, For Evelyn is a great record, but perhaps more importantly, it also shows that Georgas is getting better and better with each release. (Dine Alone)