“Nothing I could do is ever good enough,” observes Hannah Miller in her haunting new single, “Fool’s Gold,” which sees the Nashville singer-songwriter reckoning with a one-sided relationship.
“Nothing I do is enough,” she continues, pausing before adding two critical words: “for you.”
“I hope [listeners] take away the idea that some things don’t love you back and wasting time loving and chasing those things is just going to leave you hurt and disappointed,” Miller tells American Songwriter of the track, a doleful indie folk number.
In “Fool’s Gold”—produced by Neilson Hubbard—Miller’s kerosene vocals are suspended in an ethereal, finger-plucked arrangement. The Dothan, AL-born artist shared the song a few weeks ago with a self-directed video composed of black-and-white archival footage sourced from the Prelinger Archives.
“I like to write songs,” says Miller of her songwriting practice in general. “Honestly I have no idea where most of them come from. I usually just figure out what they are about after I write them and don’t aim for anything in particular while writing. Sometimes I do have something I’m trying to say on purpose, but that is the exception, not the rule.”
Miller recorded “Fool’s Gold” at Nashville’s Skinny Elephant Studio with Hubbard and Dylan Alldredge. “We were going for five songs in two days, we ended up with four,” she recalls. “We wanted to track live as much as possible, so on this one I sang and played it live with no metronome and then Neilson and Juan Solarzano added all the extras to it. They are real pros because I play out of time and loosey-goosey and they made it seem easy to play along.”
Asked what songwriter she most admires, Miller says she “can’t pick just one,” adding that “Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty are top of the list probably.” Her Spotify playlist “In My Head” currently highlights more contemporary inspirations such as Fiona Apple (“I Want You to Love Me,” “Shameika”), Damien Jurado (“Ochoa”), and Christa Wells (“Western Shoreline,” “Falling Up” with Lori Chaffer).
One of her favorite lyrics comes from Browne’s “The Only Child,” which appeared on his 1976 album The Pretender: “Let the disappointments pass / Let the laughter fill your glass / Let your illusions last until they shatter / Whatever you might hope to find / Among the thoughts that crowd your mind / There won’t be many that ever really matter.”
“Fool’s Gold” follows Miller’s last single, “Sing Anyway,” and her More EP. Like “Fool’s Gold,” “Sing Anyway” and “Nothing’s Alright”—off More—both arrived with self-directed videos featuring archival footage. All three flicks show Miller to be a careful editor capable of translating her musical visions into emotive, layered visuals.
Miller has released a handful of EPs and albums over the last decade, including a few collaborations with Ehren Ebbage. She’s also known for her work on NBC’s ‘This Is Us.’
“For ‘We Can Always Come Back To This,’ it was such a monumental episode and scene, and I was so thankful that it really worked,” Miller said in 2018 of her acoustic version of the track, which appeared in Season 1 (the song was originally written by Siddhartha Khosla and Chris Pierce). “That was one of the highlights of all of last year. I love the whole world of licensing and TV because music can bring so much emotion to a scene, but without the scene, the music doesn’t mean as much.”
Listen to “Fool’s Gold” and check out Miller’s recent video below.