Hannah Miller on New Album, Recording and Juggling Parenthood and Music

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Singer, songwriter, guitarist, Hannah Miller, will release her self titlled album this week  The album was recorded at Nashville’s Sputnik Sound with producer Mitch Dane.

In a recent press release,  Hanna speaks of the album after the birth of her first child, and says that she is moving away from “coffeehouse-friendly songs that filled her previous releases in favor of something louder, livelier and more indebted to the sweep and swell of a full backup band.”

“I couldn’t be more excited about this record,” Miller says.  “It’s been a long time coming, and I’m so happy to release something that is really reflective of my growth over the last few years—both artistically and personally.”

Hannah tells us more about the album in our interview below.

The self-titled album is due out in just a few short weeks. It’s said to be a transition from your previous works. Can you share with us a little about your new album Hannah Miller and what fans can expect to hear?

 It is a little more groovy, with more of an emphasis on hooks and musical parts than some of my previous work.

I hear influences of Lana del Rey in your new album. Who and what were some of your influences for the writing of the tracks on this album?

Well, the way her voice is treated, with all that reverb, actually was a reference point for how we approached my vocal tracks. But as far as influences on the writing itself, I’d say some of those were Ryan Adams, Damien Jurado, and Tom Petty.

The album was recorded at Sputnick Sound in Nashville with producer Mitch Dane. Tell us about the recording process and more about the band members.

I love Sputnik, it’s a great cozy space with a swing in the tracking room! We had an amazing band of musicians come in and track all the instrument parts in two days, they were just stellar. It’s always really cool watching/listening as your songs take shape.

The album is full of soulful, thought-provoking songs. If you had to pick one as your favorite, which one would it be?

Hmmm, either “Fighting” or “You Don’t Call.”

Your single “Promise Land” was featured on the 60 Minutes YouTube video by Danny Cooke which was a prepared for a TV special on the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that went viral. How did that come about?

That was a complete surprise to me. I didn’t know anything about it until I started getting a lot of email and FB requests for the song, which was unreleased at the time. Folks were wanting to know where they could buy it! So we released it as quickly as we could 🙂

We’d like to learn a little about your background. How did you get involved in music and who were some of your early musical influences?

I started writing songs at a very early age, then taught myself some guitar chords in high school. My early influences were Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan and early ’80s era Amy Grant.

When did you begin pursuing music as a career?

After college, I was working full time in retail at an arts and crafts store, and just one day thought, “What am I doing? I’ve always said I was going to be a singer/musician when I grow up’… what am I waiting for?!” So I quit that job, started waiting tables part time, and traveling all over singing my early songs and playing shows in coffee shops and random bars.

How do you feel your music has changed over your career?

I definitely think I’ve grown as a writer and a singer. It took a while for me to find my own voice or to carve out my own approach. I feel like I’ve got a sound now that is recognizable as mine, and it took a while to develop that.

Some people write a lyric and put a melody to it, while others start with a melody. What approach do you take?

It can be both, but usually melody first, then build lyrics around that.

Now a new mother, how are you juggling being a parent and a traveling/recording artist?

Well, the traveling has been reduced a bit – but I have found some great resources here in Nashville for childcare, so that allows me to still spend some time recording/writing, and there’s always the grandparents who are more than happy to come visit when I have work in town, or to lend a hand while we are traveling.

One piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring young artists?

I always say, cliché but true – Never Give Up. And keep writing. Writing is the most important thing.


Top 3 songs on your playlist:
Acckkk…I’m a big NPR listener. I need to listen to more music!

If I could perform with anyone, it would be:
Jackson Browne

My first gig was:
At a coffee shop, of course.

One thing people don’t know about me is:
I hate mayonnaise.

In one word, music to me is:

To connect with Hannah Miller:


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