In a month where the queen that is Ariana Grande has rightfully clogged up playlists play with her sass infused self-care proclamation thank u, next, another young American female has crafted a folk-pop album of self-love just as empowering and honest.
Maryland musician and Berklee Music College graduate Maggie Rogers has spent the best part of three years establishing herself as a raw and talented alternative to overtly confectionary pop music. Written in just 15 minutes, Rogers’ 2016 single Alaska descended into Internet viralness when the usually Happy Pharrell Williams was filmed being #shook by Rogers’ debut.
One EP later and 2019 begins for 24-year-old Rogers with the arrival of Heard It in a Past Life. A culmination of drip-fed singles and new work, the album is somewhat of a discography diary of Rogers’ experience as an rising musician.
At twelve tracks long, the album encourages euphoric dancing while also lending itself to moments of solitude. It is a daring move by such a young artist to lay her emotions and life lessons bare to a musical world which is only just discovering her talent. Yet Rogers maturity seeps through her confessional lyrics and her determination to remain true to herself. Something that will prove vital as she continues to amass critical and commercial praise. Heard It in a Past Life debuted at number two on the US Billboard, a testament to Rogers’ commitment to building her fan base and credibility leading up to its release.
While the dulcet Alaska features, it is nestled in an album brimming with reflective bangers. In opening track, Give a Little, Rogers’ offers listeners more than enough of her soul and story. A narrative evidently crafted to represent the assent and subsequent descent of a new relationship.
Following tracks, Overnight, The Knife and Light On are on the surface pop sing-alongs with catchy hooks. Yet they soundtrack the relatable, natural drifting apart of a once star-crossed couple.
Half-way through the album, the tone switches from regret to reprieve and revelation. Rogers focus turns from lamenting the bitter parts of a relationship to falling back in love with herself. Closing the album with the anthemic Back In My Body, Rogers finds herself at the epicentre on her on euphoria.
Strumming with building drumbeats, the album has heartbeat like quality. Maggie Rogers has arrived.