A bold debut album that finds Maggie Rogers rising to the challenge...
'Heard It In A Past Life'

In a world in which cynicism appears to be everyone’s default setting, it would be easy to write off Maggie Rogers as an industry plant - an artist who seemingly came from nothing, went viral, landed a record contract and the rest is history.

It’s a story we’ve seen countless times before and an argument, used by many, to delegitimise the work of the individual for whom this criticism is often unfounded. However, as is proven on Rogers’ debut release she is, and always has been, more than just the doe-eyed girl that flawed Pharrell Williams in a viral video a few years ago.

The pop sensibilities of the of the now 24-year-old Rogers are so broadly distributed throughout her first full-length LP that the truth is now incontrovertible. Maggie Rogers is in it for the long hall. We first heard evidence of her wizardry in the form of her 2017 EP 'Now That The Light Is Fading', featuring some of Rogers’ best work such as 'On + Off', 'Alaska' and 'Dog Years'.

In the 18 or so months since, she has cultivated a small but indiscreet following, with many comparing her to Florence Welch, Lana Del Rey or early years Laura Marling. Whilst it’s easy to see where these comparisons come from, they don’t really do any of the parties involved justice.

Sure, they all fit under the umbrella of “pretty girls singing folksy tunes” but as any fan of any of those four artists will tell you, there is evidently more to them than that. Rogers proves this throughout 'Heard It In A Past Life', most notably on the runaway stand out track 'Light On' where infectious energy and choppy beats are enough to bob Rogers’ characteristically peppy vocals over some of the prettiest melody you are likely to hear this year.

Other notable cuts include 'Overnight' and 'Retrograde', the latter of which I was praying was a James Blake cover but is, in fact just another of Rogers’ would-be classics. Increasing in familiarity and its endearing nature upon repeated listening, Rogers has released a fantastically spritely and fluid debut album, one that shows off her various talents without doing any of them a disservice.

It sticks in the mind for a good while after and just keeps bringing you back in with fantastic production, brilliant pop songwriting and a central personality as easy to like and support as any on the current music scene.

8/10

Words: Mike Watkins

 

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