In September, Toronto’s Hannah Georgas released her latest LP, the Aaron Dessner-produced All That Emotion on Dessner’s label Brassland (Bartees Strange, Buke & Gase) and Toronto indie stalwart Arts & Crafts.
The album was the best-received entry in her career to date, earning a wave of positive attention from outlets like The Guardian who called the album “magisterial pop for introverts,” Mojo, Uncut, Observer, Sunday Times Culture, Pitchfork, Clash, The Line of Best Fit, NPR, The New York Times, FADER, Stereogum, Gold Flake Paint, Secret Meeting, among many others. Today, Georgas is sharing a new version of a track from her album that she co-wrote with Dessner called “Pray It Away,” performed as a duet with The National frontman Matt Berninger.
The collaboration was born from the friendship Georgas and Berninger developed when Georgas joined The National’s touring band when they were on the road in support of their album I Am Easy To Find last year, though it did not come together until this summer. On the track, which concerns living with the prejudice within families, Berninger’s brooding baritone provides a perfect compliment to the Georgas calm tones that unwind over Dessner’s softly glowing synthesizers.
The song plays on the themes of cultural polarization that seem to be ripping apart our politics, our families, and our world. Says Georgas of the track “Whether it’s ideology, gender norms, homophobia, racism, sexism, or your dreams and ambitions in life…I hope this song brings comfort to those who have felt they have been dismissed for who they truly are. I hope it poses questions about what faith is about, exactly, and how it can tear us apart at moments where we should be celebrating togetherness.”
Berninger also says: “This song is one of my favorites off Hannah’s new record, so I begged Hannah to let me sing it with her. Turns out sometimes prayers are answered.”