Maya de Vitry of The Stray Birds finds solace in the wilderness on her solo debut Adaptations - WXPN
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Maya de Vitry | photo by Laura E. Partain | courtesy of the artist

Lancaster-bred folk traditionalists The Stray Birds closed the book on their eight-year career last year after the release of their album Let It Pass, but singer and songwriter Maya de Vitry is already looking ahead to her next chapter.

This month, de Vitry — now based in Nashville — releases her solo debut, Adaptations, and it frees her to explore songwriting styles and sonic textures outside the realm of the rigid tradition of Appalachian string band music. We hear that in full effect on “Go Tell A Bird,” a rugged rock strummer in the vein of Lucinda Williams with a meditative undercurrent of Indian classical strings straight out of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.”

de Vitry also shared two songs to her Bandcamp page: the opening “Wilderness” has a downbeat Elliott Smith vibe, while “What The Moon Said” has a cool groove that finds the singer songwriter embracing her inner Chrissie Hynde. Both songs also have notable titles with naturalistic imagery, which is fitting considering the origin of many of these songs. From a press release announcing the album:

The summer of 2016 found de Vitry retreating to her grandparents’ Pennsylvania cabin following a delayed flight — so delayed that she ditched the trip entirely and decided to head to the woods rather than travel back to Nashville. There, in uncommon solitude, she found the freedom to encounter her own voice in all of its questioning, energy, and persistence. She took occasional breaks from her writing to take long walks, listen to podcasts, or dig into artists who had most recently intrigued her, like Neko Case, or revisit her favorites, like Tom Waits. She left the cabin knowing that she had touched a new thread of songs, which she would follow diligently for a year.

The resulting album features contributions from Nashville friends Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers, Courtney Hartman of Della Mae, and Lindsay Lou, with the core of de Vitry’s band comprised of drummer Jason Burger, bassist Sam Grisman, and guitarist Anthony da Costa. Listen to “Wilderness” and “What Te Moon Said” below; de Vitry does not have any PA regional appearances on her tour schedule, but she does have an album release party at The 5 Spot in Nashville next month, followed by two dates in Montreal.

Tour Dates
Feb 7 – The 5 Spot – Nashville, Tennessee
Feb 14 – Folk Alliance International – Montreal, Quebec
Feb 15 – Folk Alliance International – Montreal, Quebec

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