20 Questions is a Q&A interview series with musicians, authors, and everyone in between, celebrating experiences both shared and individual in the messy game of being human.
For her sixth studio album All That Emotion, Canadian singer/songwriter Hannah Georgas retreated inward. She began creating the record about a year after her LP from 2016, For Evelyn, starting with an intensive process of writing and demoing songs in her Toronto apartment, and finishing with a month long retreat in Los Angeles. She began the record making process in the middle of 2018 when she traveled to Long Pond, the upstate New York studio and home of producer Aaron Dessner of The National. The writing of the album has found Georgas creating her most personal release to date.
The new album’s cover, of an old family photo, describes everything that All That Emotion encapsulates. “I love the image because it captures this calm confidence,” she said. “It looks like people are watching a performance and it seems like he’s diving in without a second thought. Similarly, I find that it parallels the approach needed within art. The calm confidence of expressing yourself without the thought of consequence, regardless of anyone watching.” On the album, you’ll hear about bad habits and prayerful families—right and wrong love—mistakes and moving on—casual cruelty and, most of all, change. Plotting the boundaries of where to place this music is emotionally fraught but still somehow warm and fuzzy. The songs are big tent anthems: rough at the edges while also intensely relatable.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Hannah for a new edition of 20 Questions, where she told me all about her new album, her biggest influences as an artist, our shared love of Under the Tuscan Sun, and lots more.
Where is your favorite place in the world to be?
Hawaii. I love it there so much and would live there in a heartbeat.
What type of song is your favorite to write?
Songs that feel authentic and honest.
What is your earliest memory of wanting to be a musician?
I remember figuring out Jann Arden’s song “Good Mother” on the piano at a really young age and feeling so moved and inspired. I remember performing it a lot in front of whoever would listen to me.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m an introvert… I like hanging out, but I definitely like to pick those moments if I can.
Biggest pet peeve?
People who don’t understand the art of conversation. I guess what I mean is people who just talk and don’t listen. Also, people who talk too close and have bad breath!
I really do like the holidays. I like it more than Christmas Day. I like Halloween because I like autumn and watching not scary Halloween movies.
The last series you binge-watched?
How would you characterize your new album All That Emotion?
All of the songs were written in a concentrated period of time. I had finally settled into a new city and that all sunk in. I missed the West Coast where I was living. I was going through a break up that didn’t end well. I was going through a lot of change in my personal and work life. A lot of things were coming to an end and I was trying to learn how to move on and start over. I was also reflecting a lot on patterns and habits I’ve created over the years and how it affects my personal and work life.
Most expensive thing you’ve ever shamelessly splurged on?
Jeez, this question is making me realize I need a good splurge. Hmm, I don’t know! The only thing I spend a lot of money on is anything music related! But that doesn’t count as a splurge in my opinion because it’s work. I like going out for dinner!
The last book you finished?
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
Who are your biggest influences as an artist? Do we hear them throughout your work?
Annie Lennox, The Cranberries, Sade, and 90’s dance music. I would think so… but I could be wrong.
Which genre of music would you describe your music as falling into?
Singer/songwriter, pop, indie, or alternative.
Best song you’ve heard in the last year?
“This is What You Did” by This is the Kit.
One movie that will always make you cry?
Under the Tuscan Sun.
Favorite quote of all-time?
I don’t have a favorite quote of all-time, but I do like this quote… “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.”
Favorite song to get your blood moving?
“Talk to Me” by Stevie Nicks.
You’re stuck on a long flight. Which world-famous celebrity would you want sitting next to you and why?
Chelsea Handler! I’ve watched all of her series’ on Netflix and I’m a big fan. She speaks her mind and is using her platform to bring awareness to what’s going on in the world. She wants to help and she uses her voice to make change. She’s also hilarious.
One thing that’s been keeping you sane throughout the COVID-19 pandemic?
Sugar Rush, the baking show.
One artist you would love to collaborate with one day?
Annie Lennox or Imogen Heap. They are both such incredible songwriters and it would be such an honor to have that opportunity.
One thing you love most about being Canadian?
I truly appreciate the landscape. It’s such a beautiful country.