Since her early days of musical performance, Maria DeHart has been on a continuous journey of building her sound. Starting in 2018, the Portland, Oregon-based artist has traveled through a few distinct phases, going from acoustic songwriter to loop-pedal expert to full band frontperson. Her newest release, an EP called “Win Some, Lose Everyone” on the east coast-based indie label Self Aware Records, is a brief yet strong run of filled-out songs that signals a development in DeHart’s self-actualization. While prepping for its release, DeHart came to the realization that this would be the perfect time to adopt an official name for her project, Myriads, which nowadays includes much collaboration and feels significantly bigger than just herself.
Recorded mostly in her bedroom and a backyard practice space belonging to her bandmate and partner Sean Cooper, the four tracks that make up the EP build off of her acoustic beginnings and introduce a heavier and fuller sound to DeHart’s musical repertoire. She enlisted emo legend Peter Helmis, a good friend and musical collaborator, to mix the tracks and Chris Baglivo, a Philly-based audio engineer, musician, and producer, to master them. Her production choices are no coincidence; DeHart’s music has a place in the universe of today’s emo and shoegaze revival. In the sharp, overdriven guitar riffs and verbed-out vocals, you can hear her influences– there are distinct nods to bands like Tigers Jaw, Pity Sex, and Turnover. Above all, in her authentically vulnerable lyrics and thoughtful storytelling, she pays homage to the work of today’s influential femme artists, including Snail Mail, Waxahatchee, Phoebe Bridgers, and Wednesday.
DeHart is proud to be a part of the world of non-male musicians writing thoughtful and heartfelt music that communicates strength and badassery. At the same time, she writes about the struggle of living with a marginalized identity; in the EP’s concluding track, “Whore,” she explores the reality of navigating relationships as a sex worker. Her lyrics hit like a truck; during the musical and emotional climax of the track, she laments, “Thought that nobody would want me / worn out body, I’m a whore.” DeHart’s intentional emotional transparency, sometimes painfully honest and always woven together with meticulously layered instrumentation, compels listeners to enter a dreamy, introspective space that encourages them to open up, explore, and just rock out.