Album of the Week: Maggie Rogers, 'Heard It in a Past Life'


Maggie Rogers, 'Heard It in a Past Life'
Maggie Rogers, 'Heard It in a Past Life' (Courtesy of EMI)

Maggie Rogers' breakthrough is as vivid and well-chronicled as any superhero origin story, yet there is a persistent feeling; while she seems every bit as appreciative for her big break as anyone else would be in the situation, she also conveys, very firmly, that she has her own story to tell. When I interviewed her in 2017, right after the success of "Alaska," it was made clear in barely-veiled terms that Pharrell Williams was not to be a topic of discussion, and that the focus of our conversation should be her own path forward. Two years later, that path forward has resulted in Heard It in a Past Life, Rogers' big stab at plunging forward from 'viral hit' to 'household name.'

This isn't Maggie Rogers' first album - she released two albums independently in 2012 and 2014 - but she largely hews to a structure that would be expected from what amounts to a debut record. Most songs are based around loops similar to "Alaska," and while each of her collaborating producers contribute their own handful of unique sounds, the record largely sticks to that same musical palette.

It's apparent from this record that Rogers' inherent musical instincts are indeed strong, as "Alaska" sounds as unique and vital as ever. Several other previously-released songs also appear, including "On + Off" and the Rostam collaboration "Fallingwater". Her newest single "Light On" feels like a mainstream breakthrough beyond what even what "Alaska" could achieve, and it's slotted nicely into the heart of the tracklisting here. Other highlights include an opening stretch of three brand new songs, as well as the memorable closer "Back in My Body," which features a nostalgic 80s-pop-radio guitar solo.

Even if we took all of Maggie Rogers' songs that we've already played on the Current, set them aside for a while, and played only entirely new songs from Heard It in a Past Life, it would rank among the more compelling releases of 2019. It's a terrific body of work, and sets the bar high for Rogers' own musical future.

The Current's Album of the Week is the new record from Maggie Rogers, Heard It in a Past Life. After a series of breakthrough singles, she's released a full-length album, and there's lots to enjoy. From her early successes like "Alaska" and "On + Off", to her mainstream breakthrough "Light On", to newer tunes like "Back In My Body," Rogers continues to showcase herself as an exciting new talent. These songs hold up really well here in the wintertime, and they're still gonna sound great when the weather warms up. Listen in all week for songs from Maggie Rogers' Heard It in a Past Life, our Album of the Week.


Maggie Rogers - Official Site

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  • Maggie Rogers performs in The Current studio, 2018 Maggie Rogers' music career has advanced very quickly, a fact that's not lost on the singer-songwriter. Her forthcoming album, 'Heard It In A Past Life,' is a reflection of that. ' I just think I've been trying to do this for a very long time, and this is the lifetime it all sort of works out,' Rogers says. Before her sold-out show at First Avenue, Maggie Rogers stopped at The Current for a session hosted by Mary Lucia.
  • From college to a sold-out tour in one year: Maggie Rogers performs in The Current studio, 2017 Just a year ago, Maggie Rogers was a senior at NYU; now she's performing a string of sold-out shows across North America. 'It's just pretty silly,' Rogers says incredulously. In town for a sold-out show at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis, Rogers and her band stopped at The Current for an in-studio session hosted by Mac Wilson.

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