Editors’ Notes Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: A celebrated singer-songwriter taps the production expertise of The National’s Aaron Dessner to nudge her out of her comfort zone and create a delicate, ethereal art-pop song cycle that perfectly captures the isolating feeling of life under COVID lockdown. But to be fair, Hannah Georgas was plotting her mesmerizing fourth album with Dessner long before Tay-Tay came a-calling: All That Emotion is the culmination of an email correspondence that began back in 2015, and which has since led to Georgas touring with The National as both an opening act and backing vocalist. “Aaron has a way of making things sound really lush and warm,” Georgas raves to Apple Music. “He gives a lot of attention to intricate details, yet he still finds this way of creating a lot of space.” But while Dessner’s sonic fingerprints are all over the record—a seamless fusion of percolating electronics, desolate guitar melodies, and heart-swelling ascents—they all serve to enhance All That Emotion’s most essential quality: Georgas’ unflinchingly frank lyrics about broken relationships, family dysfunction, and self-doubt. Here, Georgas takes us on a track-by-track rummage through the emotional wreckage.

That Emotion
“I realize that, at times in my life, I've just let emotions build up inside and I just tuck it away and keep going. And then I realize, at other times, I'll get triggered by something and feel that build up. So this song is just about suppressing my emotions and being like, ‘I'm okay,’ but it ends up weighing me down in the end.”

Easy
“I wrote all of these songs in a concentrated period of time in 2017. I had just settled into my new apartment in Toronto after moving from Vancouver, where I had spent 13 years of my life. I was just getting used to the city, and I was going through a lot of changes not only in my personal life, but in my work life. This song was about a breakup that I was going through at the time. I was coming home from a party in the wintertime and I was walking home and having a moment, just feeling like I wanted to show up at this person's place. And I did actually go there. I woke up the next morning being like, ‘Thank god I didn't run into anybody there.’”

Dreams
“A lot of the time when we tracked the songs, I would play a song on piano and sing it and then Aaron would create really awesome drum loops and create a foundation from there. We had an incredible drummer, Jason Treuting, come in to spend a day with us and just track over everything. He's one of the coolest drummers I've ever witnessed—he's really out of the box with his approach.”

Pray It Away
“I met up with a good friend of mine who was planning her wedding and she was sending out invitations and got a message back from one of her family members saying that they wouldn't attend because they don't agree with her getting married to another woman. It just really made me feel awful. I come from a very conservative family, and I've had so many disagreements and arguments with my family on matters, so I really felt her pain. The song is coming from the position of being in her shoes and also taking my personal perspective from my relationship with my family.”

Someone I Don’t Know
“This is like a companion piece to ‘Easy,’ but it's definitely past that point of wanting to go back [to your ex] and more about feeling like you never really knew the person that you were in a relationship with.”

Punching Bag
“This has happened a lot in my past relationships: I realized that I'm not supposed to be here, but it's just tricky to end. You get this feeling of dependency or 'what would life be like without this?' But you know life sucks in it. You're just in it and you want to try to change that person, but you know deep down inside that just never works.”

Same Mistakes
“This is a bit of self-reflection and trying to understand who I am more, and realizing that a lot of the stuff that happens in my life—and the way I make decisions and react to things—stems from how I was raised. I'm just really kind of amazed by that and how I'm still working on things that have affected me from my childhood. So this song is like an inner dialogue with myself, talking about my past…”

Just a Phase
“...and this song is about the same kind of thing! It’s all just a huge therapy session, this record. This one is definitely about getting out of the way of your anxiety and your stresses and the things that hold you back, and when all that is gone, how clear you are and how much you feel like you can accomplish anything.”

Habits
“I'm in a relationship now, and I feel like I have habits and ways to protect myself, because of me being hurt in the past, whether it's from another past relationship or a trauma from adolescence. We just have ways that we react to things so that we don't get hurt, and that's what I'm talking about in this song.”

Change
“This is a nice way to kind of wrap things up. It's about realizing that change is a powerful thing, and things that feel like a bad ending and that are really hard to go through at the time will have a silver lining in a way that you probably wouldn't ever realize it would. I've experienced that a lot in my life.”

Cruel
“This is the only song on the record that's really stripped down. Aaron and I recorded this one live off the floor with our engineer Jon Low, and it feels a little bit different than the others. I guess that's why I wanted to end it with this one.”

1
4:12
 
2
4:30
 
3
4:10
 
4
3:25
 
5
3:41
 
6
3:37
 
7
2:47
 
8
3:15
 
9
4:02
 
10
3:44
 
11
3:19
 

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