MUSIC: Homegrown talent showHannah Georgas has just one album to her credit, 2010’s aptly titled This is Good, but amongst music fans and critics, she’s already considered one of Vancouver’s most promising emerging talents thanks to her catchy pop-folk tunes and soulful lyrics. And it looks like the City of Vancouver concurs, with Georgas landing a prime spot during its Vancouver 125 Summer Live free concert series, July 8-10, opening up for Saturday night headliners Neko Case and the New Pornographers. Georgas spoke with WE about her move out west, the local indie scene and gave us the scoop on her new album.
WE: The lineup is pretty fantastic for 125. What does it mean to you to be a part of that?
Hannah Georgas: I think it’s awesome. The Vancouver scene — Mother Mother, the New Pornographers, Neko — they’re all from Vancouver and I think it’s really exciting in that there’s a lot of great music coming out of here and we’re celebrating that.
It’s a nice eye-opener for people who live here and may not realize how awesome the music is locally.
Totally. I think the summer festivals in Canada are pretty rad. The other ones I’m playing this summer, the other acts that are on the bill, I’m just like, this is amazing!
I just got back from Sled Island in Calgary, and I think something like 40 per cent of the bands were from Vancouver.
Wow, that’s pretty awesome. And it’s just been in like, the last three years or so. Or not even. I feel like I’m in a little bit of a bubble because I’m all about Vancouver in one way or another, but it seems like that when you go elsewhere, too.
A lot of bands I’ve spoken to from here have said the geography’s been isolating for them. How do you feel? It hasn’t hindered you, it seems.
No. Well, I’m originally from Ontario, so I don’t know, but I guess it’s that thing when you’re from somewhere you want to be somewhere else, I don’t know. (Laughs) But I love it. I’m a very outdoorsy person, I love bike riding, being active, so for me it’s really nice. It’s really catered to biking people and jogging and all that kind of stuff, so that’s a huge part for me. Every time I look outside and I see mountains I don’t ever take it for granted. I’m just kind of taken aback by everything. I also truly believe that if you’re happy with what you’re doing, it doesn’t really matter where you are. It’s totally your head space. I could be in Timbuktu and having a good time as long as I’m in the right mind. But I feel pretty fresh and I’m on the right path doing what I’m doing, so it feels pretty good.
How long have you lived here?
I think four years now. I originally moved to Victoria and was at UVic and then I stopped going to school and moved here.
If you tried to do a family tree of Vancouver’s emerging indie bands there would be a lot of overlap. How does that co-operation work?
As soon I started making a conscious effort to really work hard and make this the forefront of everything, I found there were people in the scene who were supportive, kind of lifting you up and encouraging you. There are a lot of people in that mind-frame and I feel really lucky that a lot of my close friends out here are doing this and they’re doing really well. I’m huge fans of my friends, too, like Mother Mother and Shad and Yukon Blonde. I’m really stoked for them. And, there’s another good friend of mine, she used to play in a band called Portico and she’s started up a new band and it’s awesome! It’s just getting off the ground, but the record, I think, is amazing. The band’s called Drawn Ship.
There’s something really heartening seeing bands help each other out.
I think it’s changed a little. I remember talking to somebody who was like, “I remember the Vancouver scene wasn’t like this. It’s changed quite a bit.” If I’m really into somebody’s music and they ask me to come sing or help out, it’s like, yeah, of course, I wanna help out and just be supportive.
I stopped everything in April and have been busy writing and demoing, just getting ready to make another record in the fall.
Is it too early to talk about some of the themes?
I feel like I’ve been through quite a bit in the last year, personally, with a lot of things. My dad passed away a couple years ago, right when I was recording my last record, so I touch on a little bit of that. And, growing up, maturing with things, love. It’s got a mixture of some dark stuff and then it steps over into the lighter end of things. But I think it’s really interesting and as a writer, I’m constantly learning. I just hope that I’m progressing and maturing and putting good stuff out there.
Vancouver 125 Summer Live runs July 8-10 at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park. Hannah Georgas performs July 9 at 6:15pm. Full schedule: CelebrateVancouver125.ca.