Thursday, April 29th, 2010
Hannah Georgas at Criminal Records in Toronto
Frank YangThanks to the rather depressed state of both the music and publishing industries, it’s not really surprising that in Canada we’re down to just one national music magazine, the venerable Exclaim. So it’s kind of telling when heading into a month where two of the three biggest names in Canadian rock (at least from the indie POV) are releasing new records, they instead opt to put a relative unknown just releasing their first full-length on the cover; which is to say they’re clearly pretty high on Hannah Georgas.
Though originally hailing from Newmarket, out on the outskirts of Toronto, Georgas is now based in Vancouver and it’s there that her just-released debut This Is Good was recorded. The title of the record might be an easy mark for critics, but by and large it delivers on that promise – she probably even could have gotten away with calling it This Is Very Good. It takes Georgas’ seemingly disparate jazz and folk influences and finds a common ground in the realm of radio-friendly pop music. Some of the stylistic ranginess smacks more of trying to cover bases rather than genuine eclecticism and the production could use a little less gloss and more atmosphere, but those quibbles fade in the light of the sheer catchiness of many of the numbers. Georgas has a flexible voice, possessing some of Feist’s breathiness, some of Sarah Harmer’s folksome twang as well as a quirky extrovertedness that’s hers entirely, and puts it to good use on standouts like “Chit Chat”, “Bang Bang You’re Dead” and the title track.
She put both her voice and songs on display Tuesday evening, when she marked both the release of her album and her issue of Exclaim with an in-store performance at Criminal Records, following a proper show at the Garrison the night before. Backed by a two-piece band, Georgas turned in set that showcased both her subdued and scrappy sides (alliteration unintentional) in front of a decently-sized, if maybe overly respectful audience. Not to suggest that there should have been acting out, but sometimes the between-song silence at in-stores just feels… awkward. But she seemed grateful for the attentiveness, and in return proved that while it’s probably overreaching to suggest she’ll ever attain the status of either of the acts she bumped off the Exclaim cover, it’s pretty much certain that for the next little while, at least, you’ll be hearing more of and about Hannah Georgas.
The Vancouver Sun has a feature interview with Georgas.
Video: Holy Fuck – “Latin America”
The Hold Steady are also making May 4 a day to hit up your local record store – their new one Heaven Is Whenever is out that day, and they talk to Spinner about some of the themes of the new album. They’re at the Kool Haus on July 17.
The Skinny talks to Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner of The National while GQ finds the band showered and blue blazered in a fashion spread, alongside some of their New York indie rock brethren. Their new opus High Violet is out May 11 and they play two nights at Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.
Interpol appear ready to get back in the game, offering up a new MP3 for free from their website and sporting a shiny new logo. They promise more information – presumably an album release date and touring news – soon, but in the meantime, offer you “Lights”. Not bright, just lights.
Because apparently three months is all it takes for bruises to heal, Titus Andronicus are coming back to kick Toronto’s asses all over again when they play the Horseshoe on July 14. The Courier-Journal talks to frontman Patrick Stickles.
The Specials have finalized their make-up date for the canceled Toronto show last week – they’ll now be at the Sound Academy on August 27.