Album Review: Maggie Rogers – Heard It In A Past Life

Maggie Rogers is a pure emblem of musical fusion. Her roots in folk remain the bedrock of her music, as she effortlessly weaves in generous inspiration from electronic, pop, and r&b into her evolving style. Her first hit Alaska was a breath of fresh air (literally, nature sounds are sampled) that won us all over with its catchy melody and fresh, crisp beats, and that’s exactly what we can expect from Heard It In A Past Life.

The opener, Give A Little, is an upbeat dance tune with flares of disco and feel-good lyrics encouraging a loving openness towards one another. While the album is infectiously rhythmic and will have you dancing nonstop, its underlying theme speaks to the drastic, sometimes overwhelming change Rogers has experienced these past few years. Our first insight into this journey is in Overnight, a deliciously groovy tune symbolic of her life changing, “overnight” success. The lyrically raw Light On chronicles her rise as an artist – initial feelings of anxiety now successfully conquered by unwavering confidence and joy.

R&B and pop blend entrancingly well together in The Knife and Say It – both tracks oozing poise and incredible energy. Past life is a stripped down piano ballad, with its introduction instantly giving hint to Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon. A lovely pause in this chill dance party, we get to experience Maggie’s sweet, soothing, yet soulful voice with no distractions. Retrograde is a cathartic pop song with a transcending chorus. Back In My Body stands out for being elegantly evocative of 80s rock pop. This essential track grows into a captivating anthem – a beautiful, celebratory end to the record.

Back In My Body exudes a contagious spirit that captures euphoria through all its shapes and sounds, and is a true manifestation of who Maggie Rogers is today. Rogers does not create cookie cutter synthpop – she adds organic ingredients and personal touches in ways both heard and felt. Because her music is so deeply seeded in the love and passion she has for it, this record can’t help but naturally draw the world closer to her.

Julia Kwan