Published Aug 01, 2012Back in 2010, Hannah Georgas made her mark with her successful debut album, This Is Good, and even earned herself a place on Exclaim!'s cover. Now, the Vancouver songwriter is preparing to follow it up with a self-titled album, due out October 2 on Dine Alone Records. So what can we expect from this sophomore collection?
In an interview with Exclaim!, Georgas tells us the bulk of the album's ten songs were penned between January and July of last year. While previous writing sessions have usually involved an acoustic guitar, Georgas utilized a new approach this time around.
"I've got a piano set up in my apartment," she explains. "Every day, I would try to make an effort to do some writing, even if it sucked. I would make sure that I sat down at the piano and just started singing or practising or playing classical music. All of a sudden, from playing classical music, I would start playing chords and then started writing."
The songs further developed when it was time to make rough recordings. "I record all of my demos on GarageBand," she reveals. "I suck at recording guitar onto GarageBand, so I would have my MIDI controller. I would have a keyboard and then plug that into my computer and just create sounds from that."
She the took her GarageBand demos to producer Graham Walsh of Holy Fuck, and the pair laid down the songs in during sessions in Toronto that featured a host of notable contributors, including members of Wintersleep, Dragonette and Sarah Harmer's backing band. Other guests include Ryan Guldemond of Mother Mother and Canadian hip-hop hero Shad.
"I originally wanted him to rap on it," she says of her session with Shad. Laughing, she adds, "Actually, I wanted him to write something and I wanted to rap it. But it didn't really work."
Ultimately, the rhymer ended up singing on "The Waiting Game." Georgas says, "He won't tell anybody that he sings, but he and I will sing Cranberries and Smashing Pumpkins together all day. He's got an amazing voice. He's a little timid about it though."
This is just one of the many surprises that Hannah Georgas offers. The album features more electronic textures than the songwriter has ever used before, including plenty of drum machines and processed percussion sounds.
She notes, "In 'Enemies,' there's an electronic drum loop that's happening throughout the whole entire song, but then [drummer] Loel [Campbell of Wintersleep] is coming in and doing live stuff overtop of it. 'Fantasize' sounds like all programmed drums, but it's actually Loel's live drumming. 'Shortie' has a lot of synthetic drums that have been added on top of it."
Georgas calls the album a "fresh reintroduction to my music," so be prepared for some curve balls come October. An official first single with a music video will arrive sometime in the coming months. Until then, hear the album cut "Enemies" below.