Hannah Miller’s sound evolves on terrific self-titled release

Hannah Miller‘Hannah Miller’
Hannah Miller (self-released)
4 stars out of 5

Becoming a mother for the first time gave singer/songwriter Hannah Miller a new perspective on life and her music. The Nashville-based artist moved away from her intimate, acoustic-guitar-and-a-microphone approach to a lusher, more fully realized sound on her stellar self-titled sophomore LP.

Hannah MIller CD“For the first time ever, I didn’t focus on just the songwriting,” Miller notes. “That was the foundation, but we also focused on the treatment of each song, the arrangements, the presentation. I wanted to be bold, and not worry about whether or not I could play the songs alone, with an acoustic guitar, in somebody’s living room.”

The shift works wonders on a dynamic 11-track release that blends elements of pop, folk and Americana into a tasty sonic stew. Personal favorite “Promise Land” went viral late last year thanks to a YouTube video commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. That version of the tune appears on the album, along with a slightly tweaked album version. Additional highlights include “Help Me Out” “You Don’t Call,” “Ben Around,” “Leaving” and “You Will Stay With Me.”

“(Motherhood) makes you more confident to try new things,” Miller explains. “Your perspective changes a bit, and in a lot of ways, you overcome your inhibitions. It makes you willing to try new things, even if they fail.” Happily for all of us, Miller’s “new things” have been a rousing success. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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