Most of us experience existential crises of some sort, usually during trying times that make us second guess whatever it is might be going on in our lives. Is this what life is supposed to be about? Will it ever get any better? There are no definitive answers, though, and so we go on wondering.
That uncertainty is the focal point of Hannah Georgas’ latest single, “Rideback,” premiering today on Nerdist. “Rideback” is the lead track from her upcoming full-length record For Evelyn. The LP, which was mixed by Nicolas Vernhes and features collaborations with Ryan Guldemond (Mother Mother) and Andy Shauf, was named after her “compassionate, patient, kind, and beautiful” 95-year-old grandmother.
“Rideback” opens in gorgeous fanfare. Myriad horns wax and wane in shifting harmonies before Georgas’ questioning vocal cuts through: “I wake up in the middle of the night / thinking oh my god, who the hell am I? / My whole life’s gonna pass me by / I wake up out of my mind.”
The music is as uncertain as its lyrics. Atop lilting rhythms, single notes are hung precariously over the ends of measures. Even amidst the doubt, though, there remains a tautness to the piece, perhaps reflecting our unceasing desire to truly know. But, we never really can know, and perhaps that’s the point. Georgas ends “Rideback” with a lingering note, leaving us on a cliff overlooking our lives. The moment evokes the singer’s dejected query: “What if the best times are all up? What if it’s just the ride back now?”
If we are to believe Georgas’ portrait of her grandmother, then the future is certainly worth our intractable existential dread. And though we’ll only find out after the fact, the rest of our lives must certainly be more than just a “ride back.” Hopefully it takes less than 95 years to figure that out.
For Evelyn arrives on June 24 via Dine Alone Records and can be pre-ordered here.
Image: Hannah Georgas