‘Surrender’ is the second studio album of Maggie Rogers, and it’s everything we hoped for and more.
Shooting to fame back in 2016, Maggie blew the mind of singer-songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams with her track ‘Alaska’, during a university masterclass. Since then, she released the track on her successful debut album ‘Heard It In A Past Life’ in 2019, so she could blow all of our minds with it.
But that wasn’t all Maggie had to give. She managed to mind-boggle my brain twice over with ‘Surrender’, and I’m sure you’ll feel the same.
Her usual electro-pop style is still imminent, yet rawness and vulnerability is very much at the fore-front of this album, allowing Rogers to let us into her darker side. The warm, bright feel that was displayed in her first release has been swapped out for a colder, edgier atmosphere, somehow making you feel personally close to her, as if you’ve lived through those experiences too. Maggie has always been a very honest songwriter, yet this was new for me, and something I didn’t feel when listening to the first album.
Her bright synth hooks now translate into more grungy riffs, alongside overdriven guitar and synth-bass lines, partnered up with her classic chopped vocal samples that echo throughout (see the track ‘Overdrive‘) and add texture. The track ‘I’ve Got A Friend’ is particularly striking, and keeps you engaged despite it being instrumentally pre-dominantly acoustic guitar and bass. It feels like it’s been recorded in one-take, with Maggie’s friends surrounding her. The random upright piano adlibs were really captivating, and upon first listen it didn’t seem cohesive. After a few listens, it feels natural and unmanufactured, almost like her and her friends were messing around. The lyrics focus in on adult life struggles, and Maggie really created a safe place for those seeking comfort through music with this track.
‘Thats Where I Am’, ‘Want Want’ and ‘Horses’ seem to represent old school Maggie the best, with ‘Horses’ in particular feeling like it belongs more on the first album. The percussive samples, catchy lyric lines and use of repetitive, arpeggiated synths (alongside her legendary ethereal vocal tone) is what makes Maggie stand out so far from the crowd.
A complete contrast to what we were expecting from her, yet a release worth waiting for.
Stream ‘Surrender’ below, and buy tickets to her tour in November here –