Saturday Night Live kicked off its 44th season with a stacked lineup of musical visitors. Veritable legends Paul Simon and Kanye West carried out, as did present chart-topper Travis Scott. This week, nevertheless, the present hosts its first non-A-lister of the autumn: rising pop phenom Maggie Rogers.
Only 24 years previous, Rogers has an distinctive backstory. Growing up in Maryland, she liked classical music — Rogers cites Vivaldi and Holst as early favorites — and discovered to play harp, guitar, and piano as a grade-schooler. She shipped off to St. Andrew’s School in Delaware for highschool, the place she discovered to play a peer’s banjo, fell in love with folks, and have become recognized for serenading classmates with songs by Phish and the Grateful Dead.
Rogers’s musical pursuits led her to a high-school summer time program on the prestigious Berklee School of Music and subsequent enrollment at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. She recorded and launched a few folks albums Bandcamp and, though her music sounds nothing just like the Strokes, was a key assistant to journalist Lizzy Goodman on her rock historical past Meet Me within the Bathroom. And a 2015 stint learning overseas in Berlin and visiting town’s dance golf equipment opened her ears to one more style. “It modified all the pieces,” she instructed Rolling Stone final yr. “I needed to play a present that children my age would wish to come to and get excessive for.”
Rogers’s huge break got here in early 2016, when she performed her track “Alaska” throughout an NYU class for visitor speaker Pharrell Williams. The awestruck pop god in contrast her songwriting type to Stevie Wonder’s, the clip went viral, and Rogers’s profession was born. Two years later, she’s booked for SNL, making ready to open for Mumford & Sons on their fall tour, and readying her correct debut album for its January launch.
Below, Rogers’s important songs thus far.
Rogers says she wrote her breakthrough track in 15 minutes, simply days earlier than her fated Pharrell encounter — and the observe sounds easy. Over digital textures that’d match at a Miami competition, she glides with a vocal sensibility that echoes the R&B artists she cites as influences. No surprise Pharrell in contrast her stylistic fusion to Reese’s marriage of chocolate and peanut butter.
“On + Off” (2017)
Rogers delivered on the promise of “Alaska” with the February 2017 launch of her Now That the Light is Fading EP. On the strong set’s different spotlight, “On + Off,” Rogers once more creates an electropop confection by infusing fashionable manufacturing — clattering keys, droning bass — with romantic lyrics and nuanced vocals. Plenty of songs sound like “On + Off,” however few are this good.
Covers of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy,” Spice Girls’ “Wannabe,” and the XX’s “Say Something Loving” (2017)
Lauded for her songwriting, Rogers has additionally confirmed a deft interpreter of different artists’ materials. While touring in summer time 2017, she trotted out covers that spanned a large stylistic vary, enjoying Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy” with folk-rocker Sharon Van Etten, Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” with Fletcher, and the XX’s “Say Something Loving” on Australian radio station Triple J’s common “Like a Version” collection. The final one stands out due to Rogers’s daring interpretation of Oliver Sim’s authentic vocal and a heady synthesizer climax.
Rogers has a good quantity of indie cachet: Beyond her XX cowl, she carried out “I Need My Girl” with dour rockers the National at Boston Calling earlier this yr. Around then, she launched “Fallingwater,” her collaboration with indie manufacturing stalwart Rostam Batmanglij, previously of Vampire Weekend. Taut drums and forceful piano chords underscore Rogers’s soulful vocal half, which calls to thoughts Florence Welch’s piercing howl. The tune was the primary style she provided from Heard It in a Past Life, slated to reach January 18.
“Give a Little” (2018)
In 2018, is a star actually a star till she’s labored with Greg Kurstin? The tremendous producer has teamed with everybody from Adele and Sia to Beck and Foo Fighters, and he collaborated with Rogers on her second Heard It single, July’s “Give a Little.” Naturally, it’s her poppiest work up to now, decked out with groovy bass licks, colourful sound results, and a prime-time guitar solo. But it additionally has a political edge. Upon the observe’s launch, Rogers referred to as “Give a Little” a “track about empathy” and defined that she wrote it after getting impressed by the spring’s faculty walkouts protesting gun violence.
“Light On” (2018)
For her most up-to-date single, Rogers once more labored with Kurstin, however added Kid Harpoon (Florence + the Machine, Haim) to the combination. The manufacturing pedigree makes the plucky observe an earworm and Rogers’s lyrics — her most revealing but — cement its high quality. “Everything saved shifting, and the noise bought too loud,” she sings of her fast rise to fame. “With everybody round me saying, ‘You needs to be so pleased now.’” Like many pop gems, the lyrics deal in specificity however may apply to listeners from all types of backgrounds — principally anybody who has encountered an excessive amount of of a very good factor too quick.