With her self-titled new album and tour, Hannah Georgas is turning over a new leaf. Gone are the acoustic guitar-tinged folk melodies of the Canadian indie darling’s previous efforts The Beat Stuff and This Is Good; on Hannah Georgas (and on her current tour), you will find catchy melodies and synth-infused electronic beats. But though the album’s influences seem endless – everything from Foals to John Maus to Calgary’s Chad VanGaalen – the songs are still undeniably Hannah. They may indicate a slightly darker and more self-assured musician, but the impeccable musical and lyrical stylings that earned her a 2011 Juno nomination for “Songwriter of the Year” remain perfectly intact. Where Ottawa‘s Erica Eades sat down with Hannah Georgas on day three of her cross-Canada tour in support of fellow Canadian five-piece Mother Mother.
One of the perks of being a traveling musician is that you get to see the world. What’s your favourite thing about being on the road?
Well, the traveling can sometimes wear on you a bit, but it pays off because I get to play music all the time. We have 24 shows to go before December 19. That’s such a concentrated amount of time! You’re playing so much, you just get better and better. By the 40th show you’re on fire.
Do you have any items you bring along to make the trip less wearisome?
I have a kettle, because I drink a lot of tea. I was really sick right before I started this tour, so I’m still trying to take good care of myself. I also have this oil of oregano that I take every day. I have a pillow that I need all the time, too, because I can only sleep with a certain pillow [laughs]. And I definitely need my headphones and my music.
What do you listen to on the road?
We were just listening to The Cranberries. They’re basically my favourite band ever. Everyone in our band has really different taste, so it’s always interesting to see what other people are listening to. I have my go-to bands though, the ones I always go back to.
How do you make time for songwriting while on tour?
It’s hard. I really, really want to make some time on tour to do some more writing, but to be honest it never happens for me. You’re just with people all the time, and I’m very private when it comes to songwriting. I like to be by myself and have that set space to be creative.
What were you hoping to accomplish with your recently released self-titled album?
I think I did accomplish what I was going after, which is just being happy with the production, and the way the songs evolved. I worked with Graham Walsh of [Toronto electronica band] Holy F—. He was incredible, and we had a great connection, so it was easy to find exactly what we wanted. It all came together in a way that I was just really happy about.
You wrote a good portion of this record in a cabin on British Columbia’s Salt Spring Island. What inspired this trip?
I felt like I needed that push. I wanted to get away for a bit and clear my head and have absolutely no distractions. I wish that I could have had more time there. You can get so much done when you don’t have cellphone reception or the Internet. I had hours and hours and hours on my own to just work.
What inspired the lyrical component?
I have a little bit of anxiety that happens sometimes. It’s something that I’m always playing with and trying to get out in my music. It’s a very therapeutic thing for me to get out what’s going on in my mind. There’s a bit of heartbreak on the record, too. My dad passed away three years ago, and so I wrote a song for my mom about that. This record is pretty personal, and also a little dark – but I still like to find the light at the end of the tunnel.
What else should people know about you?
Just that I love to make music and I love writing. That’s just something that’s been inside of me since I was a little kid. I still feel the same way that I did when I was six years old and started writing music. I am a music lover, and I feel like I don’t have a choice; it’s just a passion inside me. That’s a bit cheesy, but it’s the first thing that popped into my mind.
Nov. 23 – Ottawa, ON
Nov. 25 – Kingston, ON
Nov. 26 – Peterborough, ON
Nov. 28 – Kitchener, ON
Nov. 29 – London, ON
Nov. 30 – Hamilton, ON
Dec. 1 – Toronto, ON
Dec. 4 – Winnipeg, MB
Dec. 5 – Saskatoon, SK
Dec. 6&7 – Edmonton, AB (Dec. 6 show is sold out)
Dec. 8 – Calgary, AB
Dec. 10 – Lethbridge, AB
Dec. 11 - Nelson, BC
Dec. 12 – Mission, BC
Dec. 13 – Victoria, BC
Dec. 15 – Duncan, BC
Dec. 16 – Nanaimo, BC
Dec. 17 – Campbell River, BC
Dec. 19 – Vancouver, BC