Unfortunately for most of us such phrases as, "you make your own luck in this world" and, "it's not what you know but who you know" are still far too true. (Now more than ever they may even have more of a resonance with some people given the current affairs of the recent past.) That said, you can always spin or flip a situation on its head and however unfair or unjust some situations are if you're in the right place at the right time then just maybe it was meant to be.
There are plenty of people who've had a talent that's been over looked or under represented for whatever reason. The music business is strewn with prodigious talent that sadly never sees the light of day or gets the air time it deserves, so when by chance your song gets heard by one of, if not the, biggest names on the planet for sure you'd grab that opportunity and hold on to it like your life depended on it.
When Pharrell Williams heard Maggie Rogers demo of her song 'Alaska' as part of a master class at New York University he was clearly taken aback by the impact of the song. (In a years time the next line will read.....'and the rest, as they say, is history') A year ago Maggie Rogers was in the right place and at the right time. She got given a break few get, she had the platform of social media and the association with a global talent to help and now her good luck is here for all to hear.
'Now That The Light Is Fading' is a collection of 5 tracks brought together as her debut E.P on her new major label Capitol/Polydor Records. Of course 'Alaska' is here. The rhythmic, off centre, beautifully balanced track highlights Maggie's vocal range as well her song writing skills. The arrangement of the song skilfully captures the icy nature of the glacial hike with deft electronic interjections and sparse but choice keys.
The remaining four tracks are no less worthy of inclusion on Maggie's first shot at a mainstream audience. The supreme quality of the E.P's most infectiously catchy tune, 'On + Off', is nigh on impossible to resist. The revolving underscore adds an intriguing edge to an otherwise unapologetically commercial, radio friendly piece of top drawer pop. The first track of the five, 'Color Song', as well as her previous release, 'Dog Years', are more folk centred altogether and it'll be interesting going forward to see how this mix plays out. You can hear a sound closer to First Aid Kit than any chart troubling talent but here we are treated to both without losing sincerity, conviction or passion.
Maggie Rogers may have been given a 'lucky break' but she has also made her own luck. She wouldn't have found the ear of Pharrell Williams without a good voice or an extremely good song. Whatever your take on the pop and charts of the last few years you cannot deny that he is an undeniably talented artist who has helped shape the musical landscape around the world. Sometimes things aren't fair, but sometimes, just sometimes, there are magical moments that change and help define our lives. This was clearly one of those moments for Maggie Rogers and as she herself says "there are a lot worse things to be" than being referred to as "the Pharrell girl."
Whatever the genesis of this E.P may have been it remains that 'Now That The Light Is Fading' is justified entirely by its own musical merits and is a wonderful glimpse at an emerging young artist set for bigger and better things. Only time will tell what they are, for now just enjoy her first five track E.P.
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