She’s spent the first half of 2012 touring with Kathleen Edwards, but Hannah Georgas isn’t ready to slow down. This week, the Vancouver singer-songwriter was in Studio 40 at CBC Vancouver to record a track-by-track performance of her forthcoming self-titled album.
“I have a very stacked band,” says Georgas, who sat down for this interview with CBC Music’s Jon Siddall. “Graham Walsh [of the band Holy F--k] is coming out, and my last producer Ryan Guldemond [of Mother Mother] is playing, which is such a treat.”
Georgas talked to Siddall about performing with Edwards, her experiences performing on Letterman and Fallon and the electronic influences Walsh brings to her new album.
Q: What’s making you happy these days?
A: I guess being home from tour right now, my apartment is making me happy. I’m happy to be back in Vancouver, and to actually have time to start writing again. Also the fact that this record is about to come out. I can see the release date. That’s making me really happy.
Q: What’s it like touring with Kathleen Edwards?
A: She’s incredible. She’s become a good buddy of mine. Her band and crew are really lovely. Her and I met last September, she actually reached out to me and asked “Do you want to be in an all-girl band together?” I’m like, “Yes!” So we went out for breakfast while I was out making my record in Toronto one day, and we just hit it off. She was like: “Would you ever sing in my band?” And I said ,“I don’t think I have anything on the books for the new year.” … It was an incredible experience for me, I’ve never done anything where I was just playing, playing, playing for half a year straight. I think it helped build my chops.
Q: You had the chance to join Kathleen on The Late Show with David Letterman, how was that experience?
A: It was great, I had an easy job. I just had to come and sing backups for Kathleen. We had more than enough time to sound check. David loves her, Kathleen’s been on Letterman six times. He loves her music, and is really supportive of her. I got to go on Jimmy Fallon with her, too.
Q: How was Fallon different?
A: It was different, the way his audience is set up, there’s a bunch of people behind the stage, and as soon as the music starts they start clapping along to the music. It’s like, “Whoa, what’s happening?” The day that we were on it was the day that Adam Yauch passed away. The Roots played a big Beastie Boys tribute, and that was incredible to watch.
Q: How was your approach to recording the album different this time around?
A: I started writing last January, made an effort to write every single day. It was a bit of a hunt to find the right producer. We made a list of who we wanted to work with. Graham Walsh’s name was on the list. We sent him the demos, and he was up for it. He lives in Toronto. I just wanted to step out and challenge myself. One thing that was really fantastic about it was that I moved to Toronto for two months, found an apartment to sublet and life was all about the record, nothing but. I’m really happy that I made that decision.
Q: What does Graham Walsh bring to the album?
A: He’s such a genius at coming up with really tasteful sounds. He’s really great at different synth sounds, and programming different beats. The new album definitely has his influence and taste, but doesn’t veer too far off the path [of my previous albums]. I wanted to be able to play the album live. I want to be able to have all the instruments, without having to turn on a computer. We shared some records that really reflected that. He gave me this record by Foals, Total Life Forever, it has these elements of really interesting electronic sounds, but it’s full and rich with the band sound. He also introduced me to John MOuse, who I’m obsessed with – very simple electronic elements to his music.
Q: Does the album have a name?
A: I’m self-titling it, I just love my name so much [laughs]. I came up with a lot of titles, nothing made the cut. It’s a very personal record, and I think it’s really fresh, and I feel really confident about it, so I’m just going to self-title it.
Hannah Georgas’s new self-titled album will be released Oct. 2, 2012.
Listen to Hannah Georgas on CBC Music
Kathleen Edwards in Concert w/ Hannah Georgas
Mother Mother: CBC Vancouver Toque Sessions
on Jun 16, 2012