It’s late October, and as I’m listening to the rain outside trickle against my windowpane I’ve begun pouring myself a drink. I sit myself down comfortably in a room lit only by my computer screen. I remind myself of the fact that it is October and I still haven’t listened to the Maggie Rogers EP. I press play and the chirping of crickets fill my room. I realize there is no better setting for listening to this music than the one I am currently in.
I’m transported as I close my eyes. Taken to the hiking trails where Maggie has exercised this song effortlessly so many times. As the sun sets, her ethereal voice fills the void and the sky burns in a warm tint illuminating the landscape.
After spending time abroad in France, the eyes of Maggie Rogers opened to the fire and passion of dance music. This sparked the interest of incorporating the upbeat and catchy dance rhythms into her own music while staying true to her roots. The product is ‘Now That The Light Is Fading’, which is a lovely tale of change.
Listening to this EP in its entirety is a wholesome experience, it’s a summarization of where Maggie starts off and where the last few years have led her. The introductory track ‘Color Song’ is about the light transition and color shifts that occur naturally in the wild. To us, the track also serves as an introduction to Maggie and her background of having released two full albums independently as a folk singer.
“I wanted to make dance music, or pop music, feel as human as possible.” – Maggie to Alex Siber
As you progress through the release, Rogers find creative ways of making the music she previously had trouble connecting with, very much her own. By capturing samples of birds and noises during her hikes and making a place for them in her songs. They add a deeper layer to a genre that would otherwise be separated from the world from which she stems.
What I adore about this entire EP are the lyrics, each track tells an individual story which together makes up an important story arc of Rogers life. This is to me, the greatest gift a singer-songwriter can bring to pop music. Lyrics which are of personal importance to the writer are so much more endearing to listen to and take in.
Maggie has this September completed the story arc with a previously unreleased song, releasing it as a single. After a crazy year with tons of touring, ‘Split Stones’ is her parting gift. To give herself time to reflect upon who these experiences have shaped her into, to then be able to create music based on the result of her musings.
I feel like ‘Split Stones’ is the culmination and endgame of the story she began telling us in that studio session with Pharell at NYU. Even while being a dance track to its core, it’s filled with samplings from an Oregon hiking trip. Among them a sample of her exhaling which helps create a sense of buildup throughout the piece.
Stylistically Maggie Rogers has carved her own unique niche within the dance and R&B genre. Given her initial success, I’m excited to see what kind of influence she’ll have over the genre as a whole going forward.