Maggie Rogers. Remember that name, in fact, just add her to your Spotify playlist because once you do you definitely won’t forget her. This new artist’s captivating folk meets electronica sound is one to take this coming year by storm.
The Maryland native got her official start into the industry from a masterclass for music students at The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where Pharrell Williams listened to students’ projects, offered constructive criticism and discussed the nature of the creative process.
After listening to Rogers’ now first single “Alaska,” Williams said, “Wow. I have zero notes for that. And I’ll tell you why, it’s because you’re doing you’re own thing, it’s singular.”
Now almost one year since that masterclass, Rogers has released just this past weekend her album “Now That The Light Is Fading” comprised of five unique yet cohesive songs.
“Color Song” is just what the title describes it to be. Rogers’ sings of a silver and purple sky at twilight and blue flowing water with the sounds of birds and crickets chirping softly and soothingly behind her haunting harmony. The first line of the song is the same as the album title, “Now that the light is fading.” The opening song to the album exposes her connection to her folk music roots from her first two albums “The Echo” (2012) and “Blood Ballet” (2014). Her love of the banjo is the only non-folk sound in “Color Song.”
Written in just 15 minutes, “Alaska” not only moved Pharrell Williams to tears, but casts a spell on any listener to dance to the happy pop tune. Rogers sings, “Cut my hair so I can rock back and forth, without thinking of you.” This song is the heart of the album and tells her story of hiking in Alaska and becoming at peace with things going on in her life. She sings to those epiphanies “And I walked off you, and I walked off an old me.” The music video features Rogers dancing at dusk to the addictive tune in her home-state’s vast outdoors, just adding with visuals the making of a beautifully structured pop song. Rogers has said that after studying abroad in Paris she grew a new love for dance music, and that influence in seen within “Alaska.”
“On + Off” comes in close to “Alaska” for non-stop replay clicks. This song has a glitchy beat and choppy sound which sounds not right, but is so right. “I’m coming up slowly, I’m high on emotion, with waves of this feeling, as light as the ocean” opens the song and dives right into electronic greatness. Rogers continuously shouts “take me to that place,” making you want to jump right into the computer screen and into her music video where she and three other dancers seem to be having the time of their life.
Following an upbeat jam comes “Dog Years.” Rogers’ sweet voice mixed with a hopeful chorus of her singing “We will be alright, in the afterlife” will melt your heart. The quirky woods and cabin based music video with Rogers walking around in her flared jeans a microphone adds some extra flavor to the somewhat melancholy song.
Closing the album is the song “Better” that is the perfect mix between calming and eerie. She sings about “the silence” and going somewhere “better.” The beat and low snaps pick up, becoming more electronic, and the song fades to an end with Rogers repeating the word “better.”
Maggie Rogers’ wondrous sound is refreshing in our current age of music. She is having a concert April 11 at the Bowery Ballroom if her album “Now That The Light Is Fading” tickles your fancy, as it should.