Confession: when I go to concerts, I don’t often pay attention to the supporting acts. That all changed with Maggie Rogers.
The first time I heard Maggie perform, she was the opening act for Haim’s ‘Sister Sister Sister’ Tour in Glasgow. It’s no surprise that Haim, with their killer sound and music taste to match, would pick an act like Maggie Rogers to open up their biggest show in the country. Maggie Rogers not only fits the description of “empowering female artist” to a T, but she also brings an entirely new sound to the table that deserves to be heard. Often, upcoming artists are described as the new version of someone else, but Maggie Rogers’ sound is so personal and so much a product of her own unique experiences, that there really is no comparison.
If you’re wondering why she looks so familiar, it might be because, for much of 2016, Maggie was one half of a viral meme. You might recall a video of Pharell being brought to tears while listening to a mix by an NYU student. The student in question was Maggie herself, and from that interaction came the whirlwind fairy-tale that was a recording contract, the release of an EP, and now, two years later, an upcoming full-length album and her very own worldwide tour.
Maggie describes her sound as a mix of her deeply rooted folk background (she began as a banjo player in rural Maryland) combined with a love of Electronic Dance Music that she discovered while studying abroad in France. Indeed, her music is a poetic exchange of natural descriptions and EDM production. Take, for example, her first single “Alaska”: the lyrics describe icy streams and glacial plains, while the backing track makes way for synths, R&B vocals and vaguely tropicalia beats. It is truly refreshing to hear an artist that doesn’t compromise lyrics for melody, nor submit to the limits of slow ballads in order to discuss complicated emotions.
Since the release of her first single and EP, Maggie Rogers’ sound has only kept developing. Her two most recent tracks, ‘Give A Little’ (which features Riverdale’s Camila Mendes in the music video) and ‘Light On’ feature lyrics that reveal an old soul with a playful and nostalgic regard for melodies. If you’re someone looking for a singer-songwriter with an upbeat sound, then definitely give Maggie Rogers’ first EP a listen. Alternatively, if you’re not yet convinced, I urge you to lend your ear to the following tracks. Either way, now’s your chance to listen to Maggie’s music in all of its glory, before her first full-length album, ‘Heard It in a Past Life’, drops on January 19th, 2019.
Listen to more of Maggie Rogers’ music here.