Album Review: Surrender // Maggie Rogers

Three and a half years and a new haircut later, Maggie Rogers is finally ready to send her second studio album out into the world.

Released on 29 July from Debay Sounds and Capitol Records, Surrender follows her 2019 debut, the immensely successful Heard It In A Past Life, which ranked at number 5 in Billboard’s Top 50 Albums of that year and earned her a much coveted Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.

Seemingly, Surrender contradicts the gentle, relaxed tones of Rogers’ previous album and singles such as ‘Light On’, ‘Alaska’ and ‘Love You For A Long Time’, and immerses the listener in a tumultuous yet exciting journey of musical and emotional discovery. Despite each and every song having the signature stamp of Maggie Rogers inked all over it, track by track new elements are explored, resulting in an album that’s pure delight from start to finish.

Lulling us in with the familiar sounds of isolated guitar riffs and repetitive harmonies, opening track track ‘Overdrive’ soon gives way to big drum beats, dramatic synth and belting vocals – a perfect concoction to soundtrack drives around a beating hot city at sunset.

The deep, electronic synth sounds of ‘That’s Where I Am’ and the album’s first single, ‘Want Want’, radiate an intensely futuristic vibe, whilst the classic drum beats of most recent release ‘Horses’ transport listeners back in time to 1950s America big band slow dances, pastel dresses and slicked back hair. Fast forward two tracks and thirty years, and the computerized, zippy synth of ‘Shatter’ is entirely reminiscent of 80s nostalgia, whilst the closing drum beats of following ‘Begging for Rain’ reflect the ritualistic movement and music of a rain dance.

In Surrender, Maggie Rogers covers all bases. From nostalgic synth to bold electric guitar, big drum beats to tinkly piano, the album carries the listener through the eras, the highs and lows, and out the other side.  Although three years have passed, Maggie Rogers has created something new and fresh that still perfectly emulates her signature sound – and it’s really bloody good.

Surrender is available from Capitol Records on Friday 29 July.


Author avatar
Kate Eldridge

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