Hannah Georgas: All That Emotion review – punches wrapped in velvet gloves

(Brassland/Arts & Crafts)
The Canadian singer-songwriter’s biting lyrics and gentle delivery find an ideal foil in producer Aaron Dessner

Fans of the National might have spotted the burgeoning Canadian singer-songwriter Hannah Georgas opening for the band on their 2019 tour, taking on backing vocals, too. Georgas’s own songs are gossamer things, sometimes revealing unexpectedly deep undertows. Here, on her fourth album – the follow-up to her 2016 breakout LP, For Evelyn – they make a fine match for the producerly flutters of the National’s Aaron Dessner, now mainstream-famous as the enabler of Taylor Swift’s recent indie-folk conversion, Folklore.

Key track Pray It Away is a case in point. A bittersweet song that that addresses her conservative family’s struggle in accepting same-sex unions, it finds Dessner’s susurrations picking their way around Georgas’s withering lyrics and gentle delivery. Here and elsewhere, her punches come wrapped in velvet gloves – but they come. “You’re dead to me,” Georgas croons on Habits.

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