“Feel so free, like me, when I don't think at all, but I go down a rabbit hole,” Toronto singer-songwriter Hannah Georgas sings on “Just A Phase.” While most of us were spending more than a fair share of this year begrudgingly cozying up to our varied internal worlds, and reconciling it with the growing insecurity of our external world, Georgas’ made an album that’s parked at the congested intersection of both.
Accompanied by producer The National’s Aaron Dessner’s signature warm, layered sonic textures and muted, boiling electronic groove, Georgas’ fourth full-length album All That Emotion guides us down one rabbit hole after another — it doesn’t matter if it’s hers or ours — and the moments of clarity and freedom between them. While a much wider swath of audiences are more keen to Aaron Dessner’s producer chops after his recent high-profile production credit on Taylor Swift’s Folklore, the relationship between Georgas and Dessner has been brewing for a minute. After initially connecting with Dessner five years ago, and a stint touring with The National as an opener and a backup vocalist, Dessner’s penchant for intriguing friction-filled sonic landscapes finally collided Georgas’ intimate songwriting to create All That Emotion
Across the album, absorbing synth tones and melancholic guitar lines collide with molasses-thick drum machines for a sound often reminiscent of Beach House, which pairs uniquely with Georgas’ steady alto spitting out sneakily stabbing pop hooks akin to that of vulnerable earworm machines like Caroline Polachek and Angel Olsen. On the bridge of standout dream pop love song “Dreams,” she croons “And if the world comes down / I wanna hold your hand” over the song’s infectious driving percussion — a track that serves as one of many points of levity and release across an album filled with relatable insecurity and emotional rumination.
Whether she’s detailing the frustrating patterns and trauma you bring into a relationship (“Habits”) or delivering a soft lamentation about a tragically unsalvageable relationship (“Cruel”), the pulsing promise of time and the relentless motion of tension and release constantly underpins Georgas’ songwriting in a way that lends itself to both tortured rumination and the freedom that often follows.