It’s hard to believe Maggie Rogers began her journey as a traditional folk musician. The NYU student first made waves when video surfaced of her inspiring moment during a masterclass with the legend himself, Pharrell Williams.
Rogers debuted an early cut of what would become her first single at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and Williams was nearly moved to tears by the unique work. Soon thereafter, Rogers was offered a record deal and hit the U.S. touring circuit. Now That The Light Is Fading is the first studio EP from the Maryland native, who showcases a youthful and inquisitive soul through her free-flowing natural talent.
It is easy to see why Pharrell was so impressed with the gently synthetic beat of Rogers' first single "Alaska." There are latent ties to Rogers’ folk background in the body of this track, adding to the ambient sensation evoked by the hypnotic rhythm. While the tune is fascinating instrumentally, there is no reason to overlook Rogers as a songwriter. Her lyrics are deeply personal, yet relatable - exuberant and danceable, yet broken and desolate. “Alaska” is an expertly designed folk-pop crossover that won't drive you crazy when it gets stuck in your head.
Natural imagery seems to be a specialty for the 22-year-old artist, made evident by the soft chirping samples on the opening track “Color Song.” The isolated vocals are haunting and mystical; it’s hard not to get chills when hearing the slightly lagging layered verses. During her now-viral conversation with Pharrell, Rogers admits she is synesthetic. Somehow, her ability to associate color with sound comes across genuinely to the average listener as the EP progresses. Though the synth-heavy stylings of “On + Off” and “Dog Years” may earn some comparisons to leading ladies like Lorde or Florence and the Machine, Maggie Rogers is a distinctive artist with a completely captivating and unique vision.
However loudly you want, Now That The Light Is Fading is an EP that deserves to be heard with your full attention. Press play, shut your eyes and sway along. You have almost certainly never heard anything like this.