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Maggie Rogers’ new album explores narrative lyrics

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Collegian | Charles Cohen

Alternative indie artist Maggie Rogers, famously known for hit song “Alaska,” released her latest album “Don’t Forget Me” April 12.

Compared to her 2022 album “Surrender,” Rogers’ 2024 release has a calm and twangy feel, leaning more into her indie side than her well-loved rock sound.

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Rogers wrote in her newsletter that the album was written over the course of five days, producing two songs per day in December 2022.

“With a slightly more upbeat sound, ‘Drunk’ expresses that first moment of breaking away and the daunting independence that often comes with isolation.”

Rogers continued to write that this is her first time including characters and stories in her work that aren’t directly from her personal life experiences.

“I started to picture a girl on a road trip through the American South and West — a sort of younger ‘Thelma & Louise’ character,” Rogers wrote.

The album starts off strong with “It Was Coming All Along,” which really illustrates the tone for the entire escapist feel of the album, setting the scene in a mundane living room with lyrics expressing sentiments of restlessness combined with nostalgia toward her home.

The chorus, “My world’s a honey shade of blue / I’m crying, wish I wasn’t hanging on, / But it was coming all along,” captures her mixture of emotions eloquently.

“Drunk” comes after “It Was Coming All Along,” following the chronological order of Rogers’ loose storyline. She has now left the home mentioned in the debut song and is “on the run.”

The title of the song is a reference to a feeling of freedom and anticipation rather than intoxication. With a slightly more upbeat sound, “Drunk” expresses that first moment of breaking away and the daunting independence that often comes with isolation.

“So Sick Of Dreaming” maintains Rogers’ themes of liberty and self-actualization. With lyrics such as, “Oh, there ain’t no diamond ring you could buy me to take me home.” She continues to sing of self-love and her lack of subservience.

The next song, “The Kill,” switches the melody a little bit, with lyrics concerning a past lover she can’t rid her mind of despite her desire to be emotionless and indifferent on the matter.

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From here until the seventh song on the album, Rogers taps a bit more into the nostalgia that comes with leaving the past behind.

Rogers really lets her vocals shine throughout this entire record; they are clear and crisp and display the intensity of her emotions without any interruption. The faint acoustic guitar combined with a subtly played piano is the perfect fit for her lyrics and tone, increasing in intensity when need be but predominantly letting Rogers’ voice own the stage.

After “On & On & On,” the last three songs establish a more sorrowful mood.

Despite the slightly optimistic tune of “Never Going Home,” the lyrics depict the opposite. Rogers again mentions a past love interest from her hometown who she is still hung up on, but in spite of her pining affection, she is “never ever going home.”

“All The Same” is a simple and sweet yet melancholy tune that embodies slight regret and remorse for escaping, which flow seamlessly into the final song on the track, “Don’t Forget Me.”

The original apathetic and almost cold-blooded lines of the first few songs are tied up nicely with a sort of acceptance that she can’t leave her home peacefully without enduring that sting of nostalgia and heartache.

However, Rogers doesn’t completely give in to the remorse mentioned in “All The Same,” leaving the listener with the bittersweet sound of acquiescence.

Reach Alex Hasenkamp at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @alexhasenkamp.

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About the Contributor
Alex Hasenkamp
Alex Hasenkamp, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Alex Hasenkamp is the returning arts and entertainment editor for The Collegian. Last year was Hasenkamp's first time working for The Collegian as the A&E editor, and she is happy to be back. Over the summer, Hasenkamp worked as a writing intern for The Borgen Projecta nonprofit organization working toward ending global poverty. She learned a lot, and she intends on finding another internship or writing position at a paper this upcoming summer as well. Currently a journalism and media communication major and a French minor, Hasenkamp is hoping to study abroad her senior year with the goal of learning and writing about different cultures. Growing up in Seattle, Hasenkamp loves anything music-related and enjoys the opportunity to write about local bands and concerts for the school paper. Besides reporting, Hasenkamp enjoys skiing and playing ultimate frisbee for the Colorado State University team Hell's Belles. She also has an affinity for the visual arts: Previously an art major at the University of Oregon, she enjoys covering local art shows and exhibits, as well as sketching up the occasional graphic for her articles.

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