Artist: Maggie Rogers
Title: Now That the Light is Fading
Label: Debay Sounds, LLC
Release Date: February 16, 2017
Man, to have Pharrell grace your music production class and hand-label you a future star.
I wonder how mentally prepared Maggie Rogers has felt during the last few months, given how quickly she went from being a precocious college student to a face in the national limelight. Such widespread notoriety was perhaps inevitable.
After releasing a flurry of promo videos and singles culminating in an appearance on Fallon and the release of her debut EP, Maggie Rogers has well and truly arrived. I have been infatuated with her future-pop sound for months, studying the internal code of her magnum opus “Alaska” and its sensitive, darker sibling “Dog Years,” trying to tap into their unique magic. Close listening isn’t exactly the object, though. These songs emanate with an extraordinary spirit that is immediate, reeling us in and caressing our ears with polish and subtle confidence. Every sound is perfectly engineered and colored to capture a sense of sweet auditory release, sometimes inducing the image of a calming pool, a majestic forest or the curvature of a human soul bursting out on the dancefloor.
The two brand-new inclusions, “Color Song” and “Better,” are each faithful expressions of the strong musical personality established when “Alaska” went viral. The former, a lovingly doubled a cappella song emotionally reminiscent of Bon Iver, wonderfully sticks out, with bookends of crickets gently leading the way into this seventeen-minute hiding place of sound. Rogers has a gift, one that I expect to sustain a fruitful and inventive career with many surprising turns. She will be one to watch out for in how a younger generation of musicians finds is way in an increasingly uncertain landscape. As great songwriters past have all come to learn, pure feelings are never uncertain.