Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
Demons can be understated. They can be mild-mannered and just ripple some, burn slightly like a heart pain that could have been caused by anything. They can be brushed aside with only the tiniest of thoughts, only to be considered again with the next brief episode, an encounter that could bring the same sort of dismissal. It's just the pitter-patter of words, of echoes from the past, conversations that have haunted in their own solemn ways. These little buggers have lodged themselves into our insides, where they remain in remission for long stretches of time before flaring up once again and causing us to think about what they mean, to think about who we used to be and what it was that we did.
Hannah Georgas, a brilliant Canadian songwriter, lifts the demons of others, tapping into their energies as well, writing stunning examples of what it means to never be able to shake what you have inside. It's that inner graffiti, the etchings that were scribbled in your darkened hallways for permanent memory. They are the fragments of self and the poignant details of others that are never to be lost or forgotten and if they're meaningful enough, they can hurt and they can make you feel the need to address them. Something goes on with Georgas and the song, "Ode To Mom," a piece that feels as if it's spoken from a daughter who just wants her mother to be happy, despite it being possible that she's caused some of the pain that's made such a thing difficult to pull off. Only with time, have the rifts ironed themselves out, has the stubbornness given way to empathy and appreciation.
She sings, "If I were in your shoes I'd live, I'd live a little," as if it were time to finally shed some of the baggage, some of the demons that have plagued her, and live for herself, finally. The thought comes from someone who has finally had it become clear how tough it can be to make the right decision - to be selfish when it's called for, instead of trying to give of oneself so much that the damage is catastrophic. Georgas sings about being a sucker, waiting for someone to call and then, elsewhere, singing, "I fantasize all the time about letting you, letting you go." It's likely the result of that person finally calling and a realization being made that this wasn't at all what she'd hoped it would be, but there's no way of getting out of this now.
These are stories of the sacrifices that people constantly make, knowing that there's a good chance that they'll be paying for them for a long while. They are stories about determining to get out from under the weight that these sacrifices tend to carry. It's what Georgas wants for her mother and for herself as well, writing, "I'd go out once in a while/Flash my curves, show my style/And I'd turn this old town upside-down/Yeah, I would/Yeah, I would/So, let's drive, let's pass this by/Forget what we did, forget why/We left in the first place/Why we left in the first place/ If there is magic on this planet, it's in the water/If there is magic on this planet it's in my blood."
Hannah Georgas Official Site
Dine Alone Records