On her first EP, NYC’s Maggie Rogers brings to fruition what many have been waiting for. With wonderful hooks and tight production, Now That The Light Is Fading is a great start to a promising career.
Ask anyone I’ve been in contact with since the turn of the new year, and they will tell you Maggie Rogers is my new “thing”. After her segment in the NYU Clyde Davis Institute video, where she visibly stunned Pharrell Williams went viral, a great deal of attention has been on young Mags, such as the eyes and ears of W Magazine and Rolling Stone.
Wednesday’s release of Now That The Light Is Fading has me reveling–even more so than before–of her seemingly effortless beats and floating lyrics. Only two tracks of this five-track EP are new, but this debut opens up a perfect window for Rogers’ to capture the music industry’s attention.
Kicking off the release is “Color Song”, a tranquil a cappella track filled with outdoor noises and multiple layered vocals–the perfect introduction to the EP and Rogers’ style overall. It’s very natural, very simple: trippy yet sensual and easy. Something about the lack of form and Rogers’ wind-like free-flowing voice is enchanting and unique, in every sense of the word. She could sing the phone book and I would still be under her spell. In standout, “Alaska”, Rogers employs steady folksy claps and snaps, wave-like organic beats, and self-harmonizing falsettos, to create a strikingly intimate, yet catchy tune.
Arguably, the song itself might seem a bit “functional” to critics, but I do think that’s what makes “Alaska” work so well. The sounds are structured in such a way that will captivate you and make you move; which is Maggie’s inspiration, as she tells NYMag, “it was about trying to make music to inspire as much natural movement as possible.” With human rhythm at the core, “Dog Years” is the clear slow-swaying track of the EP, talking about the passing of time in a smooth, yet still earthy track. As the beats of “On + Off” begin, this tune is clearly a more explosive and dance-influenced track. “On + Off” churns sick bell-like dings and groovy hums to keep the energy high up the whole time. “Better”, which acts as an upbeat yet gentle and smooth jazzy track, closes out the EP.
Now That The Light Is Fading, at large, is Maggie to a T–if that T was made out of so many different textures, sounds, emotions, and environments. It is a perfectly blended, colorful, electro-folk smoothie. As she embarks on a world-wide headlining tour, hopefully an album isn’t too far away from Maggie Rogers.