Say “self-titled” out loud, and “debut” practically rolls off your tongue by default. So it might seem strange that Hannah Georgas’s new, eponymous release is in fact the Vancouver singer-songwriter’s second full-length effort. It’s true that the album is no debut—2010’s This Is Good earned two Juno nods and a spot on the Polaris long list—but it’s certainly something of a reintroduction.
The change of pace is apparent right from the start: With its pulsing pads, driving kick drum and synthesized beats, opener “Elephant” sounds more like something Thom Yorke might’ve penned than something from the established Georgas songbook. And while “Elephant” is no doubt the furthest departure from Georgas’s earlier work, several of the album’s other tracks also feature electronics more prominently, both successfully (a sporadic 8-bit organ is the perfect complement on the upbeat “Millions”) and less so (the synth is tacky on the simplistic pop number “Shortie” and unexciting on the forgettable “Fantasize”).
Synths aside, Georgas’s biggest act of rebranding seems to be a newfound maturity. Much like Feist, to whom she is often compared, Georgas has left behind much of the whimsy of early single “Bang Bang You’re Dead” in favour of a more thoughtful, artistic approach. The kicker, of course, is that, despite all the aural adjustments, the best tracks off the new album are exactly the tunes you’d expect the old Georgas to write—catchy, playful and rockin’.
Playlist picks “Somebody,” “Millions”
Hannah Georgas plays the Kool Haus (132 Queens Quay E.) on Dec. 1.