Hannah Georgas: Revue de l’album All That Emotion

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In 2009, Hannah Georgas wrote a song about hoping to meet an ex at a national concert. Like most of Georgas’ music, “The National” is both an internal monologue and an address, things she thinks but wouldn’t say: “The other day someone mentioned your name / That brought back the pain and all your pain. As The National became arena rock stars and the band’s Aaron Dessner was a famous producer in his own right, Georgas found success in his home country, Canada, garnering numerous award nominations. Juno on three albums. In 2018, after a year of recording solo demos, she and Dessner began collaborating on a fourth. As Dessner-ification erodes part of Georgas’ artistic identity, All this emotions is majestic and well made.Dessner still produces with the privacy of someone making music in their garage – it’s just that the garage is now a barn in upstate New York whose exterior covers a Grammy album, and the sound is generally recognizable as National-adjacent. Where Georgas’ slightly chaotic music previously matched his original lyrics on emotionless robots and nude beaches, Dessner submerges his words into soft drum machines and felt pianos, and Georgas tones down his performances to match. . On “Just a Phase”, his melodies often anticipate or echo the lines of the guitar, content to blend into the sound. At the opening of “That Emotion”, the melodies are stretched and laconic, the performance relaxed and discreet.

The album’s stylistic balance tilts in Dessner’s favor, which may mean that All this emotion sounds like Taylor Swift’s folklore sounds like Eve Owen’s Do not let the ink dry sound like The problem will find me. The one-size-fits-all approach leads to occasional clashes, like on “Easy,” where Georgas’s modest soft-rock chorus awkwardly sits on Dessner’s tough crescendos. Even so, Dessner and engineer Jonathan Low keep the production immersive enough that the deviations are easy to ignore. Georgas and Dessner’s most successful synthesis is hidden at the end: “Habits” flies off in a way the rest of the album actively avoids. It’s still a classic slow build, but the harmonies and squeaks of guitar create the same drunken feel that drives Dessner’s most lavish productions.

With Dessner manipulating the music, Georgas defines himself through his internal monologues. “I don’t want to hold you back,” she sings on “Change,” claiming that because “love is change,” there’s no reason to stay if a relationship gets strained. “Someone I don’t know” deepens the expected feeling, wanting an ex to become unrecognizable: “One day, I’ll get over it… You will become something that I forgot. “Punching Bag,” a song that sort of mixes the fear of Radiohead’s “Idioteque” with Alanis Morrissette’s chatty “Front Row”, takes the tension to a logical extreme. Although Georgas sings about the need to “save” someone, the underlying lyrics reveal his ambivalence: “I take you for a walk in a place that means so much to me / And go get your hand to hold you and you yourself. move away immediately. ” This is the only moment on the album that seems really surprising.

By emphasizing quiet beauty in all aspects of its production, All this emotion lacks the strangest and most fascinating elements of Georgas’ early music. The Casio SK-1 Homestar Runner the drums of “Bang Bang You’re Dead” or the distortion of “Enemies” would be welcome on this record. Although Emotion is refined, nor is it any different from Dessner’s other production work – it’s always musically reluctant, covered in fog. Its clarity comes from Georgas’ ability to process how she feels, and spending 40 minutes in her head as she takes it right doesn’t seem to suffocate. There is always a sufficient reason, poignant insight or complex guitar line, to stay.


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