Up-and-coming artist Maggie Rogers impresses with debut album

Marley Gardner, Staff Writer

Every year millions of people wait around for the Obamas’ summer playlist. The annual list features artists from different genres, including widely known musicians such as Frank Sinatra and Rhianna, but also under-the-radar newcomers. One of this year’s rising artists featured on the list is Maryland native, Maggie Rogers. The banjo-playing folk-pop singer’s first big break in the music industry was in 2016, following a video of her song “Alaska” nearly bringing songwriter Pharrell Williams to tears during her time at NYU, as seen in the YouTube video Masterclass Pharell Williams Maggie Rogers

Rogers released her first EP the next year, “Now That The Light Is Fading,” with Capitol Records. Although short, the five track release experiments with natural sounds, body percussion, electronic instrumentation and a variety of other styles. Just under two years later, the 25 year-old singer-songwriter released her first full length album, “Heard It In A Past Life,” at the beginning of this year, and it’s picking up speed. 

The album begins with two of Rogers’ higher energy songs, “Give A Little” and “Overnight.” Combined with her vocal strength, the two are clear representations of the confidence she’s gained as both a vocalist and artist in general. This is portrayed throughout the whole album, with slower acoustic tracks, “Past Life” and “Fallingwater,” highlighting her skills as a pianist, as well as a singer. 

“Maggie Rogers’ music is just so relaxing and powerful, but also calming,” Xavia Wright-Jones, sophomore, said. “It’s just such a chill vibe and something I genuinely enjoy listening to.”

While all 12 tracks represent Rogers’ personal style as an artist, utilizing both contemporary electronic pop sounds and acoustic instrumentation, one in particular stands out. Perhaps the most significant portrayal of the style she’s developed on the album is the third track, “The Knife.” The song begins with an unidentifiable electronic noise and a mysterious electric bass element, leading their way into emotional metaphorical lyrics, without sacrificing her confidence-boosting energy. 

Rogers’ new album, “Heard It In A Past Life,” along with her other music, can be found on Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, and her website https://www.maggierogers.com/.