Review: Hannah Georgas – For Evelyn
For Evelyn, the third studio album from Canadian singer/songwriter Hannah Georgas, is equal parts brave and vulnerable. So basically, a perfect representation of how it feels to be young and in the constant flux of self-doubt and reckless optimism.
In the album’s almost-title-track, ‘Evelyn’, breathy vocals trail over a dreamy soundscape. A musing on whether we can ever find peace in life, this anthem-like track seems to arrive at the positive conclusion that one day we’ll make it, a reassurance that renders the album’s darker moments easier to take. Certainly harrowing at times, in haunting vocals Georgas grapples with failing relationships, crippling doubt and the pressures of change. Now, I know this sounds pretty mopey, but nuanced with the spirit of any good get-back story, For Evelyn is full of heart and fortitude.
As far as dance tracks go, Georgas’ are buoyant and irresponsible in the best way. Arguably the album’s most upbeat, ‘Naked Beaches’ oozes sun-drenched bliss. Driven by dreamy synth, the comforting chorus, ‘this is how it should be’ seems to dissolve some of the despair pervading the record. Equally spirited, ‘Crazy Shit’ is a night out in review. The kind of song you sink beers to, knowing too well that pain/regret will be on the cards tomorrow.
A great show of the album’s emotional scope, Georgas follows this poppy optimism with an exercise in introspection. Track nine sobers up and strikes a chord with the home-hitting hook, ‘all that mattered to me isn’t so clear anymore / I feel like I’m a lost cause.’ It’s one of those zero gravity moments, knowing you’re stuck, wanting to change and still aching with helplessness. Feels? Thankfully, Georgas softens the melancholic blow by vocalising that which most people wouldn’t, and in doing so puts the sympathising listener amongst friends.
It is this welcoming universality that makes For Evelyn’s more heartbreaking moments somehow full of warmth. As if naming an album after your grandmother isn’t endearing enough, For Evelyn is a moving and playful exploration of emotional extremity. With stripped back honesty, Hannah Georgas’ third studio album unveils a developed, thoughtful artist AND someone you’d want to both cry to and dance with.
For Evelyn is out now. Keep up to date with Hannah on Facebook.
Review by Sam Jones.