Maryanna Devlin’s Debut LP ‘A Great Many Things’ Out Now

Today, Boston-raised, Germany-based singer-songwriter Maryanna Devlin has released her debut LP, A Great Many Things. “The title comes from the book Little Women,” Devlin explains. I grew up in Massachusetts, which is where the author, Louisa May Alcott, was from, and the house where she grew up, Orchard House, is a museum in Concord. I went there often as a kid, and I watched the movie on repeat. My family always compared me with Jo…I marched to the beat of my own drum, and never wanted to do conventional things,” she continues.

In Little Women, the character Jacob Mayer, after making a point about female voting rights, says, “You should have been a lawyer, Ms. March,” and Jo says, “I should have been a great many things.” “As I got older, I, like we all do, began to regret sometimes the steps I didn’t take, and chances I missed out on,” says Devlin. “I realized I wanted to do so many things, and be so many things, but I didn’t have the confidence, or time, or money, or just the ability. We are only human, and can only do so much. So I started to use my songs as a means to act out all of the things I wanted to do,” she continues. “I have all possibilities at my fingertips through songwriting, and that brings me peace, and that’s how I can be, and do a great many things.”

Devlin drew inspiration for some of the album’s tracks from several of her other literary heroes; “Timeline” is based on how Kurt Vonnegut explains the idea of time in his masterpiece, Slaughterhouse-Five–that time is actually linear, and the past, present, and future all exist as one. This idea became a broader theme throughout the album. Devlin uses the songs as means of time travel, going wherever she wants in her own life’s history to become “unstuck in time” like the main character of Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim.