Review: Maggie Rogers’ “Surrender”

Maggie Rogers’ new album “Surrender” is out everywhere now!

If anybody asks where I am, just assume I’m experiencing the feral joy that only a brand-new Maggie Rogers album can inflict on me. With her new album Surrender, Maggie tells stories about seeking escape through allowing herself to let go and just feel everything. It’s a gorgeous album, transcendent in both its production and its storytelling as Maggie waves the white flag above her heard for all of us.

Since the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Heard It in a Past Life in 2019, Rogers has been quite busy- having just graduated with her Masters in Religion and Public Life from Harvard’s Divinity School while simultaneously writing and producing her sophomore album. There’s a certain level of authenticity that Maggie continues to bring not only to her art but to her life as well that makes people gravitate towards her and root for her in every endeavor. And I truly believe that this authenticity bleeds through into her lyrics and her production as well. Let’s break it all down now!

Album opener “Overdrive” feels like an open road song- that start of a road trip kinda banger that sets the mood for what’s to come and feels like the utter freedom of the open highway before you. Rogers’ voice feels massive right from the first note, deepening her register on this record in ways we have never heard prior- in fact it’s almost reminiscent of Florence Welch at times in her ability to flip from her head to chest voice. “I don’t wanna do this again if you’re gon’ break my heart, I’m tearing at the seams, can’t believe that it’s gotta be this hard, you told me that I was all you could see, but you kept me in the dark,” she belts out on the bridge of a broken relationship as the production intensifies. “Overdrive” is an evolutionary piece, bridging the gap between the folk influenced sounds of her past and leading us into the liberation to come.

“Overdrive” by Maggie Rogers

“Anywhere With You” is an absolute standout and is quite possibly a contender for my Top 10 Songs of 2022 so far- both raw and exuberant in its storytelling and production. Maggie’s vocals are absolute perfection here as she tries to help her companion out of their lowest point in search of something bigger than themselves. “You tell me that forever couldn’t come too soon, If I’m gonna lose my mind, I’m gonna lose it with you, You tell me you want everything, you want it fast, but all I’ve ever wanted is to make something fucking last,” their outlooks on what’s to come may differ but she makes it clear that what’s most important is experiencing this journey together. The song’s crescendo is truly breathtaking, and the production choices made here by Del Water Gap, Kid Harpoon, and Maggie herself are, to put it quite plainly, fucking phenomenal.

“Anywhere With You” by Maggie Rogers

Channeling the grunginess of 90s rock and almost Springsteen-esque in the feeling it evokes comes “Shatter”, another incredible feat brought to us through the magical collaboration of Rogers and Kid Harpoon. It somehow encapsulates a handful of emotions- love, joy, fear, anger and confusion, all mixed into one song with a chaotic production to match it and a vocal so raw, it feels ethereal. Her authenticity continues to bleed through here with the adorable cracks in her voice bringing such character to her performance that it leaves me begging for more with every single listen. “I don’t really care if it nearly kills me, I’d give you the world if you asked me to, I could break a glass just to watch it shatter, I’d do anything just to feel with you“. She’s on an entirely different level.

“Shatter” by Maggie Rogers

Maggie’s lyrics read like gorgeous prose in pieces like “Begging For Rain”, which tells the story of that feeling of being in a dark place and focusing on what could have been different while begging for what could bring you relief. “You work all day to find religion, and end up standing in your kitchen, wondering ’bout the way it’s always been, I’m a firefighter and I can’t stop it, they fan the flames higher than rockets, and leave you standing on an open plane, begging for rain,” that feeling of grief is difficult to shake and can cause you to miss out on moments and people in your life that become casualties in the wake of your pain. It’s quite solemn but that’s what makes it all that much more poignant. Sonically, this track is more stripped back and a welcome reprieve from the string of bangers surrounding it in the tracklist.

“Begging For Rain” by Maggie Rogers

As the album heads towards its conclusion, we reach “Symphony”, which truly feels like an exhale from the rising tension that comes before it. It’s a moment of liberation, of transcendence, and a reminder to grasp onto that feeling as we continue on with our lives. “So just be here with me, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be, and there’s a symphony every time you look my way, I know we’re under slept and life’s a promise that never ends, but you can handle it. Take a breath,” she urges her partner to surrender to this feeling of peace that she has found for herself in their relationship. It’s a moment for us to take that breath as well- to take in what we’ve experienced and surrender to our emotions as Maggie transitions into the album’s final track.

“Symphony” by Maggie Rogers

What Maggie Rogers has done with Surrender is what most artists merely dream of- capturing the overwhelming mess of emotions that one experiences in life and refusing to let it take her under. Instead, she uses all of the pain as a lesson, finding her own motivation to continue on and in surrendering to all that she’s faced- she found true liberation.

Surrender is out now on all streaming platforms!

Fresh Brewed Playlist #14

Inhaler’s new single “These Are The Days” is out everywhere now!

So being away for a bit means one major thing: Lots of new music has been released in the last several weeks so we have plenty to catch up on. Grab your morning coffee and let’s get rolling!

Dublin based rock band Inhaler’s newest single “These Are The Days” is the anthemic summer single ready to rock an arena near you. Over the years, Inhaler have proven themselves to be one of the most exhilarating new bands to emerge in years and continue their winning streak here with this newest release. “These are the days that follow you home, these are the days that kiss you on your broken nose, these are the days I don’t miss the feeling of being alone, thеse are the days,” the chorus feels nostalgic in that “Glory Days” kinda way. It’s the cliche that these are the best days of their lives together as a band- and yet they make it feel so fresh and cool. The production, like all of their releases so far, is top notch- carrying the sound of the bands that have come before them and making it modern. If Inhaler is the future of rock, we are in damn good hands.

“These Are The Days” by Inhaler

“In The Kitchen” by Reneé Rapp is a stunningly haunting piece of music that focuses on a moment from her relationship that has now ended and how alone she now feels. “So I’ll dance with your ghost in the living room and I’ll play the piano alone, but I’m too scared to delete all our videos, ’cause it’s real once everyone knows, you could’ve at least shown me some decency, done me a favor and packed up your clothes, falling in love, no, it ain’t for the weak, so don’t try this at home,” the chorus punches a hole into your chest and rips your heart out before you can even catch a breath. Her vocal performance is raw and gritty, an absolutely unforgettable performance that stays with you long after the first listen as she struggles to move past the memory of their love in fear of making the loneliness that much more real. It’s heartbreakingly relatable and Rapp uses her acting chops to heighten the emotions even more so in the gorgeously shot music video below.

“In The Kitchen” by Reneé Rapp

The Lost Youth’s newest single “Headfirst” is a raging pop banger that grabbed me from the first 10 seconds- and frankly if you don’t feel the same, I highly suggest getting your hearing checked. The production is slick, reminiscent of the past and yet so perfectly modern. The lyrics are sharp, about the vulnerable early stages of a relationship when you’re afraid of ruining things. “I play my part and I don’t play games, what if I go too far, could I lose everything,” the chorus is anthemic, ready to be screamed at their concerts and sure to be a fan favorite. With “Headfirst” only being their second release, they have an incredible potential to become an absolute sensation around the world. I’m so excited to see what this duo have in store for us next!

“Headfirst” by The Lost Youth

Check out the rest of the songs featured on Fresh Brewed #14 below!

Give me a follow on my socials below and let’s connect about the music you’re loving right now! Have an artist you want to see me cover? Hit me up!

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Oceanic Talk Debut Album and New Single “Alone”

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Nathan Wyatt from the East Coast based indie pop band Oceanic about their newest single “Alone”, their upcoming debut album and some East Coast tour dates. Check out what he had to say below!

Brew Music Friday: Congratulations on the release of “Alone”! For any new listeners, how would you guys describe your sound?

That’s definitely the hardest question in the world. We’re somewhere between WALK THE MOON, The 1975, and Coldplay. Probably. I could be wrong about that. I’d call us indie pop for people who also like U2. 

BMF: Who are some of your musical influences?

Coldplay, The Killers, The 1975, Harry Styles, Caroline Polachek, Dua Lipa, Brian Eno, Oneohtrix Point Never, just to name a few. Obviously we’re products of the Streaming Age, so it’s hard to condense!

BMF: How long have you all been playing together? 

Me (Nathan) and Jacob have been playing together for about six years as Oceanic, and Sam has been in the band for about five years. Joseph actually just joined last year! Though we’ve been playing shows on and off with him for around 3 years. 

BMF: You said your debut album “No, Human” will be released sometime soon. When can fans expect to hear the full project?

Our debut album is set to release in early January 2023!

BMF: You’ve said before that you hope to make listeners look inward when listening to your music. What do you hope they take out of “Alone”?

I think I’d love for them to consider the way we all act toward other people, and how that can have a deep, lasting effect. The warm or cold way we interact with people can make them feel seen and loved, or shunned and alone.

I’d love for people to consider that the way we treat other people should be constantly on the front of our minds as one of the most important things in the whole universe. I hope to get better and better at that.

And I hope they hear some sounds they like. 🙂

BMF: You all just played Charlotte Shout a few weeks back. What was that experience like?

Charlotte Shout was so great! It had high production value, an enormous stage, and a crew that worked very hard to make it happen. We’re very grateful to have played a festival that is so special to Charlotte. Can’t wait for next year! 

BMF: Can fans look forward to a tour?

We’ve got a ton of dates coming up all up and down the east coast! If folks keep up with our social media we’ll be posting about everything that’s coming together. We’re playing more shows this year than we ever have before, and we couldn’t be more excited. 

BMF: What sets “No, Human” apart from your previous EP “Angel”?

“No, Human” has larger breadth sonically and thematically. It’s all new songs, and obviously it’s longer than the “Angel” EP, so we are able to be way more creative with it. Essentially it captures what Oceanic is more fully—which is terribly exciting to us. Essentially, it’s got more bangers, more breadth of emotion, more wide varieties of sounds. Honestly, we just can’t wait for it to be out. The next single off of it will be called “Walt,” and it’ll be coming in May.

Make sure you follow Oceanic on their Instagram and other socials to stay up to date on upcoming releases and more tour dates to come! Up next you can check them out at Sonic Movement Festival in Charlotte, NC on May 14th!

https://www.instagram.com/oceanicofficial/