Maggie Rogers Shares Her Pre-Fame Material On Notes From The Archive: Recordings 2011-2016
Ever since her song “Alaska” caught Pharrell’s attention, and then the world’s, Maggie Rogers has been honing an artful, alternative-leaning form of adult contemporary pop music. I would not exactly call her debut album Heard It In A Past Life indie rock, even though it exists within a loosely defined “indie” milieu. Nor would I exactly call it folk-rock, even though it’s adjacent to that tradition. This new archival collection Rogers has released today, though, proves she could just as easily pivot to languorous guitar-driven alt-rock or coffeehouse folk-rock if she so chose.
The self-explanatory Notes From The Archive: Recordings 2011-2016 compiles songs Rogers recorded before she blew up, chronicling her years as an anonymous NYU student and even before. The first few songs find Rogers backed by gleaming guitar and bashed-out drums, at times channeling Jeff Buckley’s swooning bellows. There are tracks powered by acoustic guitar and piano, too, and many are built around the banjo. “On The Page” reminds me of Bright Eyes at their quietest, while “Little Joys” begins with a blaring harmonica and ends with shivering strings. Two tracks are collabs with Del Water Gap, including “New Song,” a dead ringer for Damien Rice. It ends with a somber, ornate piano ballad called “Satellite” that sprawls to seven minutes.
A statement from Rogers from her cover story in the newly launched magazine Atmos:
I’ve known for a long time that this is something I had to do before I put out another record, because there’s a part of me that’s so deeply missing from the story right now: the 10 years of work that have led up to this moment. I have a whole body of work that I don’t want to leave behind. This record feels like honoring that work, putting the pieces of the story back together, finding my way from bisected to whole. Now, I’ve finally been given the space to let ideas develop and let myself develop. And as I’ve been working on a new record, I see the pieces all coming together and coming full circle.
Six of these tracks are previously unreleased, and all 16 of them are available to stream below, along with a video from Rogers introducing the project.
Notes From The Archive: Recordings 2011-2016 is out now on Debay Sounds.