Boston-based, Germany-based singer-songwriter Maryanna Devlin has unveiled her latest single, “Gary Indiana,” a track from her forthcoming debut album, A Great Many Things, which will be released on September 30.
“Although many of the songs on the record have a relatively straightforward folksong style, the production is layered with a richness that emphasizes Devlin’s lush vocals,” Twangville noted when the song premiered. “Drawing from her earlier acting career, literary influences as diverse as Little House On the Prairie and The Slaughterhouse Five, and memorable moments from her own life, this is a very personal record.”
“Gary Indiana” was inspired by a trip Devlin took with his father to see a Boston College versus. Notre Dame football match. “Football was his life and a big part of mine growing up,” she explains. “This trip was a healing time for us as we tried to mend our relationship after years of alcohol and drug abuse. It was the first song we recorded, and it really stuck with me. connected to the studio team.”
The single follows the release of “Manchester By The Sea”, inspired by the scenic escape set in his home state of Massachusetts. “Manchester-by-the-Sea is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, filled with sprawling private estates and private roads,” she says. “I think this song was a way for me to access this idyllic seaside town that is really only for the elite.”
Maryanna Devlin is a compelling singer-songwriter whose distinctly narrative, folk-leaning indie rock runs on pure instinct. There is a supremely natural and vulnerable quality to his music – which resists pop formulas in favor of organic composition – guided by an intuitive understanding of the dynamics of storytelling. For Devlin, music is both an outlet for trauma and an excuse to share our best stories.
As a performer, her lush voice and raw energy have drawn comparisons to Lana Del Rey and Sharon van Etten, while her unique arrangements and introspective lyrics are informed by a theater background and a deep love of literature. Now set to release her full-length debut, A Great Many Things, in September 2022, Devlin showcases stunning breadth and originality in eight nuanced anthems.
Born in Vermont and raised outside of Boston, Devlin moved to Manhattan after high school to study acting, where she fell in love with the transitive power of art. “When you see a painting or hear a song and are suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling, that’s the emotion of the artist. I’m fascinated by how art can transcend time and space to connect people, so they feel less alone,” she says.
Devlin didn’t explore the cathartic power of music until her early twenties, when she began writing songs as a way to process childhood grief. The devastating loss of her brother, who died at the age of fourteen, led her to pursue music nearly a decade later.
“He was a great musician, and when he died there were a lot of emotions that I needed to process. But I didn’t know how until seven years later when I started writing songs, then it all poured out of me.” Inspired by Brandi Carlile, she borrowed a guitar and learned to play using her mother’s chord booklet. She found singer-songwriter Josh Ritter a few years later, whose idiosyncratic style inspired her to continue creating music in his unique way.
After college, Devlin transitioned from acting to music, attracted by the creative independence a music career could offer. Over the next few years she wrote, self-produced and released three solo EPs, honing her vocal tone and unique brand of storytelling through the influence of artists like Simon and Garfunkel, Hiss Golden Messenger, Josh Ritter and Stevie Nicks.
Her early forays into songwriting soon led to performances on the East Coast and in Europe, sharing the stage with artists like Darlingside and Becca Mancari. She met her partner in Nashville in 2013, and the couple eventually moved to Frankfurt, Germany in 2017.
In A Great Many Things, Devlin presents a richly textured and more expansive version of his signature organic acoustic sound. Many tracks in this polished and heavily reflective indie-americana collection feature a full band backing Devlin’s distinctly sweet vocals.
The tracks, all written and composed by Devlin, are steeped in family and personal history, with lyrical themes exploring big temporal concepts like lineage, memory as a means of time travel, and the movement of time itself. Throughout the album, Devlin considers how we are connected and disconnected by his passage.
Throughout, A Great Many Things contains a genuine variety of deeply human feelings and spans an equally wide emotional spectrum, with moments of dark introspection in the vein of Elliot Smith and Townes Van Zandt juxtaposed to passages of luminous and graceful ease.
Listen to the new single here: