Here’s an uncommon wisdom: summers can be cruel. (Just ask Bananarama.) Goading us with unrealistic expectations of escape and fulfillment, the season triggers flashes of existential disillusionment in the best of us. On the single “Rideback,” Hannah Georgas freezes these moments, summoning electronic rhythms and baritone saxophones (!) to reckon with the essential question: “What if the best times are all up? What if it’s just the ride back now?”
On her new album, For Evelyn, Georgas offers striking headphone pop that showcases her mastery of styles, from atmospheric balladry to electronic bricolage to bouncy radio-ready fodder. What makes the collection cohere is, first, its theme of reflection on the course of life (tellingly, the album is titled in dedication to her 95-year-old grandmother). Second, there’s Georgas’s voice, a breathy, unguarded soprano that strikes an empathic connection with listeners even when, as on the track “Waste,” it’s mulitracked into symphonic layers. This Canadian’s astonishing talent as songwriter and recording artist recalls Aimee Mann and Suzanne Vega, to name two comforting tellers of difficult truths whose impact Hannah Georgas could very well repeat.
For Evelyn is out now on Dine Alone Records.