"I think you have to write songs that connect us to each other. We all feel pain, loss, joy, and hope." We chat with Marie Miller
Hey Marie, how’s your day going?
It has just begun, but so far it is going well!
So... where are you right now?
I am currently in a very small county about an hour west of Washington D.C. My parents live in a very old house on a vineyard. It’s a beautiful place to be.
Tell us a bit about you, what do you do for fun?
I love to read classic literature, follow all the crazy politics these days, and hang out with my friends and family. I also really love at home karaoke sessions.
You released your album recently, Little Dreams, what can you tell me about it?
Yes! Little Dreams is my first indi album after leaving my record label in 2018. It’s an album that lyrically focuses on bravery and dreaming big dreams even in times of fear and doubt. The musical sound is quite folky and you can hear plenty of mandolin throughout the record.
How different has it been releasing the record in the current climate?
It is VERY different. I cancelled all my album release shows which was very painful at the time, but now I am so happy we made that decision. I am so grateful for streaming, press, and social media, so this music can still be heard.
I love ‘Butterfly Collector’, what can you tell me about that song?
Thank you! 'Butterfly Collector' was written with my friend Kris Allen. We wanted to create a song that reminded the listener of an old folk song. It tells the tale of a naive butterfly that is flattered and trapped by an evil butterfly collector.
‘Wayfaring Stranger’ is another cracking song, what’s the story to that?
'Wayfaring Stranger' is a traditional gospel song. I really wanted to incorporate a traditional song to pay homage to the music that I love so much.
If I only had three minutes, what song of yours should I listen to?
I would have you listen to 'Little Dreams'. I think it is exactly how I feel right now.
What’s the key to writing a damn good song?
I think you have to write songs that connect us to each other. We all feel pain, loss, joy, and hope, and as artists we have the beautiful task to let our listeners know that they are not alone.
What’s the process you go through to figure out what songs to record, and then what makes the final tracklist?
My producer David Wimbish and I listened to a bunch of different songs I had written over the last couple years and ultimately decided on nine songs that we felt were the strongest but also weaved in the lyrically themes the best.
You play a few instruments, which is your favourite to create songs on?
I love writing on the mandolin.
Little Dreams mixes a few traditional styles in its sound, can you give us a taste of the kind of music you listen to in your spare time?
Yes! I love folk, Americana, old standards, 90’s country, and pop. SO yes, a lot of different types of music!
I usually ask, what have you got planned for the rest of 2020, but I’m not sure any of us know… so, what’s the thing you’re looking forward to doing most when things settle down?
Performing in front of humans and playing music with my friends! I can not wait!!!
Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your experience of being treated differently as a woman in your industry?
I hate that there is any pressure to take your clothes off as a woman. I make music, and that should be enough.
Have you noticed a difference at all in the last couple of years?
I do think so. I am really proud of women like Brandi Carlile, Sarah Bareilles, and others who focus on their music rather than looking like barbies.
If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?
Please listen to The Collection’s album Entropy. It is perfect.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
Yes, I did just finish War and Peace, and I am so proud of myself! Also, yes I really love my mom. Happy Mother’s Day mom!
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
Black or with a splash of cream.