Artist to Watch: Wilby’s Debut EP ‘Translucent Beauty’ Embraces Vulnerability & Catchy, Intimate Indie Pop

Wilby © Bennett Littlejohn
Wilby © Bennett Littlejohn
A radiant and groovy outpouring of tender, catchy, and intimate indie pop, Wilby’s debut EP ‘Translucent Beauty’ is an enchanting and instantly memorable experience.
Stream: “Translucent Beauty” – Wilby




The EP primarily comes from my grappling with vulnerability and how beautiful it is when you give in to it.

A radiant and groovy outpouring of tender, catchy, and intimate indie pop, Wilby’s debut EP is an enchanting and instantly memorable experience. The Nashville-based artist comes to life in Translucent Beauty, a dynamic and sweetly soaring outpouring of feel-good sound and raw, vulnerable emotion.

Translucent Beauty - Wilby
Translucent Beauty – Wilby
Take my time cause I’ve learned my lesson
I’ve learned my lesson
More than once
I’m not one you can hold onto
You can’t hold onto
What I’m not
But shut me up
Cause you know I talk too much
Keeping up a mystery
You see right through me
Call my bluff
Baby cause I’m not that tough
Even though I’d like to be
You see right through me

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Wilby’s debut EP Translucent Beauty, a sun-soaked EP that delves into compelling depths with grace and stirring confidence. The musical moniker for Philadelphia-bred, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Maria Crawford (formerly known as the folk artist Mar), Wilby debuted her first single “Bad” in October 2020. Her entrance immediately stood out as “Bad” gained traction online, and has now gone on to rack up over 80,000 global streams.

Crawford explains: “I’m super thrilled and proud of this little baby. I recorded it with Thad Kopec in his dreamy home studio. Most of the tracks on the EP have been written in the last two years, so it’s nice they still feel fresh just as I’m releasing this EP to the world.”

Wilby © Bennett Littlejohn
Wilby © Bennett Littlejohn

Preceded by a steady series of singles released over the past three months, Translucent Beauty captures the tenacity and passion lying at the center of Crawford’s art.

The opening title track and “Joanna” find Wilby reveling in pools of seductive, driving indie pop; their mix of saccharine melodies, pulsing drums and fervent guitars make for a thrilling listen alone, before Wilby’s heartfelt, expressive voice (reminiscent of Stevie Nicks or Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker) catapults each song to the next level. Soft and serene, yet strong and self-assured all at once, she adds a magic touch that makes every moment worth playing on repeat. Even on the hushed, slower EP closer “Naive,” Wilby gleams with a bright, inspiring glow.

While it’s hard to choose a favorite out of four sublime songs, Wilby cites the lovey-dovey “Mush” as a personal highlight, noting the ease with which it came to her in the moment. “I’m so complicated, and I don’t wanna say it,” she repeats in the song’s outro, dancing cinematically around those special three words, eight letters:

I wanna believe it when you say that
Cause you’re so sweet
It never comes easy
To soften, I’m like concrete
Oh, oh no no…
You don’t even know it
Yeah you don’t even know
That I’m all mush


Wilby © Bennett Littlejohn
Wilby © Bennett Littlejohn

“The EP primarily comes from my grappling with vulnerability and how beautiful it is when you give in to it,” Wilby tells Atwood Magazine. “I think there is a toughness a lot of us wear out of self-protection and I feel like these songs highlight that insecurity while also calling myself out on my own BS and melodramatic tendencies. The songs explore my fears of intimacy, grief, and love. Sonically, this EP has some bedroom pop, indie/alt-rockish vibe, with at times elements that point back to my folk/singer-songwriter roots.”

I spend all my mornings talking to myself
The conversation gets boring without anyone else
Do you think I’m crazy? Do you think I’m sweet?
Do you think it’s easy being so naive?
I’m the life of the party, I’m a fly on the wall
I’m all that you wanted or nothing at all
Do you think I’m crazy? Do you think I’m sweet?
Do you think it’s easy being so naive?
I’ve done my time now, gave it my best shot
I wanted to win them, I already lost
– “Naive,” Wilby
Wilby © Bennett Littlejohn
Wilby © Bennett Littlejohn

Four songs can only attempt to scratch at the surface of an artistry, and yet Wilby’s debut EP nevertheless feels like a deep-dive into the soul.

Her unfiltered lyrical exploration of tenderness, resilience, and mental health is exciting enough, but it’s how she gives each song a life and world of its own that makes this debut second to none. Without a doubt an artist to watch over the coming years, Wilby has given us a set we’ll be blasting all summer – and all year – long.

Experience the full record via our exclusive stream, and peek inside Wilby’s Translucent Beauty EP with Atwood Magazine as she goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her debut EP!

— —

:: stream/purchase Wilby here ::
Stream: ‘Translucent Beauty’ – Wilby



:: Inside Translucent Beauty ::

Translucent Beauty - Wilby

— —

Translucent Beauty

“Translucent Beauty” in a way is about my reluctance to let down my walls while also begging someone to tear them down for me. The whole “if you really knew me” bit and having someone who sees past your layers of self protection and insecurity.

Joanna

I wrote “Joanna” in processing the death of my grandmother. I really wanted to challenge myself in writing on a subject that was still really raw to me while also hoping it translated to listeners. It then evolved into this idea of how we are made up of pieces of each other and how remembering someone you’ve lost is this very bittersweet feeling.

Mush

“Mush” was written with my friend Thad Cockrell. I had the title/concept for a while and loved the idea of love and tenderness being this gross and messy thing. I made a demo for it that I brought into the studio. Mush is kind of the favorite child of the EP, not better or worse than the others, just always felt easy and low-maintenance when we were making it.

Naive

The writing style for “Naive” is definitely the most natural for me, with more abstract and intuitive lyrics. I’ve realized songs like this are really hard for me to cut and the production can really make or break it. The song shares about ways we change and perform for other people and, particularly, how women can be expected to come off as “sweet” or act out of credulity.



— — — —

Translucent Beauty - Wilby

Connect to Wilby on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
📸 © Bennett Littlejohn
graphic design © Grace Cavalier

:: Stream Wilby ::



More from Mitch Mosk

The New Classic: A Conversation with Nightly

onesty, an open mind, and big dreams: When cousins Jonathan Capeci and Joey...
Read More