Maggie Rogers’ earthy style of dance music makes the seemingly robotic human, turning cold electronics into layered homespun craft. Even Rogers has remarked on the “unnatural” and “artificial” nature of electronic tunes, but in her warm hands and celestial falsetto those copper wires and plastic buttons become flesh and blood.
At the beginning of her new single, “On + Off”, Maggie Rogers sings, “I’m coming up slowly/I’m high on emotion/With waves of this feeling/As light as the ocean”. There’s an equal amount of weight and levity, with the spiritual reaching for the clouds out of roaring tides. Waves of keyboard loops pull under and “Pharrell’s favorite,” handclaps, explode upward reminding listeners of those summer nights not so easily forgotten – a feat that is often elusive to most dance music makers.
Pop music’s essence is light and dance music trends towards the momentary, nonetheless Roger’s voice has a honey-warm folk quality that is found in the timeless tradition of Appalachian blues. As she reaches her highest falsetto octaves all one can do is swoon.
Roger’s five-song, debut EP, Now That The Light Is Fading, is due out February 17th via Capitol Records, but unfortunately it only contains two songs we are yet to hear – not that we mind giving “Alaska” another spin. It’s clear that the singer-songwriter is a perfectionist and spends weeks making each moment just so, but it leaves us feeling like ill-behaved children on the verge of a tantrum demanding, “I want it now!”
Like electronic music pioneers Daft Punk, Maggie Rogers is able to find the humanity in robotics on “On + Off”. One can feel the blood move as Rogers sings out, and can’t help but sway with the tides of her electronic keyboard loops, which is why we give “On + Off” 11,814 out of 12,000 celestial vibrations.
HURRY – LISTEN – MAGGIE ROGERS