By Caitlin Dunn
Artist: Maggie Rogers
Album: Heard It In A Past Life
Release Date: Jan. 19, 2019
Here is what you need to know about Maggie Rogers: she is a 24-year-old artist from the rural parts of Maryland who blew up after a video of Pharrell listening to her song went viral. Pharrell, like everyone else, was blown away with her ability to capture a sound so unique to herself.
During the three years since that viral video, Rogers has released a couple singles and an EP, ending with her first studio album Heard It In a Past Life this year. This album features songs such as “Alaska” and “On + Off” from her 2017 EP Now That the Light Is Fading.
In previous years Rogers had self-released albums, The Echo and Blood Ballot. None of the songs from these independent albums made it over to her studio album but her folky tones and indie-like voice did. As Rogers told Pharrell, she grew up playing folk music with her banjo but in the middle of her college career she ended up taking a break from making music. She went to study abroad in Paris where she had a “spiritual experience with dance music.” When she came back, she decided to combine the electronic dance music with her folky roots and made the song “Alaska.”
After the release of Now That the Light Is Fading, Rogers delivered a line of singles that were eventually turned into an album. Heard It in a Past Life offers a finished piece of her music that brings the audience back to her anchoring song “Alaska.” Rogers starts the album off with “Give A Little,” an upbeat tune with carefree lyrics that encourages open-mindedness with one another.
While the album gives us groovy beats that are hard to not dance to, some of the tracks on the album have underlying themes that touch on life-changing experiences, “Light On” is one of those tracks. It focuses on her rise as an artist, starting with feelings of anxiety that were soon overcome with confidence. In tracks like “The Knife” and “Say It,” Rogers releases more range with blends of R&B and pop with both tracks bleeding more incredible energy into the already bold album. “Past Life” gives this folk disco dance album a pause with a slower piano tune, and accompanied hints of Fleetwood Mac. Rogers ends the album with “Back In My Body,” an infectious track that captures the joy and true explanation of who Rogers is.
While this is Rogers’ first studio album, it shows her boldness and how well she is thriving into fame. Rogers adds individuality to the synthpop genre, due to her deeply rooted love for music that comes so naturally to her.
The most noteworthy tracks are “The Knife,” “Alaska,” “On + Off” and “Fallingwater.” Recommended if you like artists like Wet, Sigrid and Goldfrapp.