Maria Wilman: The Dark Horse with a Timeless Journey
Maria Wilman, a London-based singer/songwriter, has always been one to defy expectations and undergo remarkable transformations guided by her trust in her potential and strength. With her latest album, “Dark Horse,” produced by the talented Colin Elliot (known for his work with Richard Hawley and Slow Club), Maria offers us a glimpse into a much larger body of work written between 2019 and 2022.
The inspiration behind “Dark Horse” came from an offhand comment by a friend, sparking Maria’s contemplation of how different sides of ourselves can emerge seemingly out of nowhere. The album delves into questions about what we leave behind, the life we’ve already lived, and the possibilities that lie ahead. Maria acknowledges that answers to these questions are rarely fixed; we are constantly evolving, even when we lose parts of ourselves.
Maria’s songs possess a lived-in quality, shaped by her experiences growing up in the politically charged Basque country during the controversial Franco years. With her bilingual and bicultural background, she crossed the channel to the UK and pursued a career in psychology, a path that enriched her understanding of human emotions and motives, ultimately informing her songwriting.
While music had always simmered within Maria, it wasn’t until she turned 50 in 2019 that she felt an urgent need to give it a voice. The timing felt right, and she decided to seize the opportunity, realizing that the train of creativity was passing by, and she had nothing to lose. Soon enough, Maria had three albums to her credit, beginning with the captivating “Dark Horse.”
The common thread running through her songs is Maria’s willingness to explore the unknown, unearthing both its darkness and joy. The focus single, “Full Circle,” reflects her fascination with time, emphasizing life’s nonlinear nature. Bridging the scientific and spiritual aspects of existence, Maria delves into the significance of love, a theme that echoes throughout her work.
Intriguingly, “Lovegrass” narrates the story of another Maria Wilman from a different era, a source of inspiration and a pioneer of her time. Despite living a century apart, the musician beautifully intertwines their lives, paying homage to the remarkable journey of the original Maria Wilman.
With tracks like “Mastermind” and “Roll Your Soul,” Maria contemplates whether life unfolds by design and revels in the ambiguity of intentional avoidance. “Through Your Eyes” yearns for an end to self-condemnation, highlighting the need for compassion towards oneself, particularly for women who often bear the brunt of harm.
At the heart of it all, making a fresh start after 50 shouldn’t be extraordinary, but life’s timing is unpredictable. For Maria, embracing music as her calling has been a homecoming—a return to her true self. She has always known deep down that her heart’s desire lay in this artistic pursuit.
In Maria’s view, time holds little relevance in this process. Whether one arrives in their 20s or 50s doesn’t matter as long as they reach their destination. With a playful smile, she contemplates that where she’s heading might not necessarily be the end; after all, the idea of a finish line is what keeps us going.
As Maria Wilman continues to mesmerize with her unexpected musical journey, one thing is certain: her authenticity and passion will endure, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of her listeners. With “Dark Horse” as an entrancing beginning, we eagerly await the unfolding of Maria’s artistic odyssey, a tale of timeless exploration and self-discovery.