Record Review: Hannah Miller

Hannah Miller
Journey to the Moon
Columbia, SC

Recorded and produced by Ian Fitchuk and Justin Loucks in Nashville, TN // Mastered by Richard Dodd

Hannah Miller’s latest release, Journey to the Moon, is noticeably more cheerful than her previous work. The sound of this new EP is polished and upbeat, thanks to the guidance of Nashville producers Ian Fitchuk and Justin Loucks, who encouraged Miller to present her sunnier side.

Her newfound optimism is evident in the opening track “All My Love,” a bouncy tune that combines a bossa nova backbeat with sensible pop piano and folk-influenced harmonica. Its chorus drips with schmaltz, much like the other three songs: “I can’t think of anything I would rather do,” Miller sings in her fragile yet compelling voice, “I’m saving all my love for you.” It’s a bit sappy, but therein lies its beauty: Miller is having fun with her craft. Her songs are poignant and earnest, but she doesn’t feel the need to take them too seriously.

The closing ballad, “Always,” finds her exploring new territory.  Here the beat grooves like vintage Sade, then gains momentum as electric drums, vocal overdubs, and a lingering flute riff layer on top of each other. By the end of it all, Miller proves that she can gather a diverse palette of genres – pop, Americana, jazz, R&B – and blend them effortlessly for a satisfying 16 minutes that fly by all too fast. (Self-released)

www.myspace.com/hannahmiller

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