Now That The Light Is Fading EP Review
Debay Sounds/Capitol Records
Released February 17, 2017
Genre: Indie Pop, Electronica, R&B
Maggie Rogers’ rise to fame is mainly contributed to a rather intimate and cordial exchange with Pharrell Williams during a once-in-a-lifetime moment aspiring artists alike could only dream of achieving. But it wasn’t just this serendipitous encounter that has contributed to Rogers’ success; Pharrell didn’t shed a tear and offer no criticisms or complaints for no reason. Rogers’ bubbly R&B-infused electro-pop sound melds the heartfelt with the electronic, turning even the most cynical of listeners to fans of her ethereal vocals and subtle dance influences. Now, after a sequence of signing with a label, a North American tour, and numerous interviews, Rogers has released her debut EP Now That The Light Is Fading.
Inspired by folk and the outdoors Rogers mixes in these sounds – both musical and field recordings – into her music, inserting them into electronic pop instrumentation. What sets her apart from other contemporaries (some not as captivating or interesting), are her vocals. Rogers’ ethereal and R&B-tinged voice effectively communicates the feeling of love, longing, and living in the moment with passion and authenticity. The gorgeous balladry of “Dog Years” finds Rogers entertaining the idea of a relationship, while the EP opener “Color Song” sounds like a camp-fire group chant in that period of the night between ‘when the sun sets’ and ‘before the bugs come out’ – that pristine moment where the night has not come out.
Her smash hit, and one of our favorite tracks of 2016, “Alaska” is one of the more effervescent tunes on the EP. Pharrell mentioned hearing nothing like it, but its place in modern music makes sense in 2017: its light but propulsive beat that evokes tropical house music, and its ethereal & dreamy vocals are very reminiscent of the music of its time. It’s gentle touch is both relaxing and alluring – a talented indication of more to come from this rising star. Rogers’ folk influences (in the traditional sense) feel less in the background here, and it goes to show how she has utilized her influences as a spring board for something greater.
Now That The Light Is Fading is Maggie Rogers’ debut EP, and her opportunity to show the world who she is, and what she can do. Rogers falters a little bit near the end, where the track “Better” overstays its welcome, but not enough to completely deter the EP’s trajectory. Nonetheless she’s shown her talents, and she’s shown her weaknesses. It’s not perfect, but it shows a lot of potential for greater music to come. If anything, this EP left me wanting more; and that’s exactly what Rogers needs: the whole world waiting to see what she does next.
PRETTY NEAT MUSIC
FAV TRACKS: Color Song, Alaska, Dog Years
LEAST FAV TRACK: Better (kinda)