This Weeks Music Video with St. Vincent, Stormzy, U2, The Horrors, HAIM, The Shins, Maggie Rogers and Spoon

Single Review – Maggie Rogers – Split Stones

With touches of electronics and R&B, Maggie Rogers new single ‘Split Stones’ wraps her melodic vocal around some pretty expansive samples. Which makes sense since many of the tracks interesting sounds were collected while Rogers was backpacking across Oregon during the summer of 2013. Combining technology and the natural environment, the track feels as invigorating as standing in the rain in a forest clearing. Though unfortunately for fans this track came with a note suggesting that while you can enjoy the new song it might be awhile until Rogers releases a follow-up; ‘This is me saying goodbye for a little while. Here’s to the end of the beginning and the start of everything else.’ With a chorus that’s the kind of uplifting that never seems forced, or in anyway conceited, but subtly empowering this is a hiatus track that is sure to keep fans longer for more; ‘If you could say all things you wanted to, if you couldn’t lie, if you would only move like you had something to lose.’

Hayley Miller

EP Review – Maggie Rogers – Now That The Light Is Fading


The ever emerging talent of Maggie Rogers has continued to grow from her viral introduction to the world less than a year ago. A five track EP has been produced in a relatively short space of time since then with the famous ‘Alaska’ single taking centre stage. The single has delicate beats and clicks with gently warping electronica which go on to merge into one as the verse bridges to the chorus. Once there, a muffled, but heavier beat gives the song a catchy quality without sacrificing the delicate and natural sounds that are reinforced through her wispy melodies. With ‘On + Off’ we hear her develop her sound even more with a song that features bolder samples and piano loops which are woven together into a melodic fabric with a subtle, but charged rhythm driving it. Maggie sings with a almost a folk swoon that exudes calm and control to balance against a busy instrumentation. 

The lightly whirring electronica of ‘Dog Years’ bounces off her vocals generating a symmetrical sound and this is the basis for the gradual flourishing of the song in the choruses. Though it’s more typical of a sophisticated contemporary Pop song, it still demonstrates her knack for production and her graceful delivery. ‘Better’ is a refrained track featuring multiple layers of wiry and whirring electronica arranged in an airy, chilled fashion which serves as the perfect environment for Maggies relaxed vocals. ‘Color Song’ is mostly an a capella song with an earthy and calming feel as Maggies multiple tracks vocals gently sweep across each other. She’s certainly proved herself to be an accomplished producer with an ability to fuse opposing sounds together in a seemingly effortless way. Introverted songwriting mirrors the imagery she uses to channel her lyrics and with these aspects she moulds songs that are multi-dimensional and functional. No long a viral sensation, but a proven talent. 

Owen Riddle 

Single Review – Maggie Rogers – On + Off

Maryland’s Maggie Rogers was unwittingly thrust into the viral spotlight last year via Pharrell Williams stunned faced and almost by accident, her career has took off. She certainly has the talent to justify what for her is totally unexpected praise and attention and with her initial singles she’s demonstrated a keen ear for simple melodies and musical fusions and a versatility to make it work. With ‘On + Off’ we hear her develop her sound even more with a song that features bolder samples and piano loops which are woven together into a melodic fabric with a subtle, but charged rhythm driving it. Maggie sings with a almost a folk swoon that exudes calm and control to balance against a busy instrumentation. Her talent is growing with each new track and this is just another landmark of it. 

Owen Riddle

Musicandotherthingz Best Newcomer of 2016

For out Newcomers it’s been an exciting year. Some created viral moments, others received established backing and some of them finally got an album out. The exciting new rapping talents of Noname, the imaginative production of Bullion and the virtual one man band that is Jack Garratt all received strong support from out voters but they’re appearing in the following long list with the others. The top three are below and it got very close.

3. Maggie Rogers (17.78% of the vote) 

Millions of people have now seen the moment where an unsure and modest NYU music student plays her track to Pharrell Williams who was teaching a masterclass to the students there. After giving a lot of constructive criticism and technical feedback to the students, up comes Maggie. She explains her story and her struggles in that time and they play her track. The rest is history. Seeing the amazement strike Pharrell and seeing that turn into bewilderment at what he’s hearing whilst she sits, eyes to the floor, blissfully unaware is brilliant to watch and a testament to her talent. She’s heavily influenced by folk music and folk melodies, but she’s enthused these with a dance beat and nudging, delicate production. There is a direct link between the sound she’s creating and the narrative in her lyrics, that together paint a very vivid picture. A breath of fresh air.

2. Sundara Karma (23.33%) 

The Reading Indie rock quartet only just missed out on top spot in what was a rather tense vote. They are not too dissimilar from our winners in many Indie ways, but they ply their sound with a hint of glam rock finesse and attitude. They’ve just released their debut album Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect and it will surely be picked up by teenagers across the country. These will be filling the venues and festivals the band play to and hopefully they’ll be able to go on a creative streak to match their festival and sing-a-long qualities. 

1. Blossoms (24.00%)

We’ve seen this before haven’t we? A bunch of ambitious lads from a Northern town who want to go on an conquer the world. If they follow the right path, then anything is possible for Blossoms. They differ from Sundara Karma in how they try varying degrees of popular rock music and take Pop elements to it as well. With the guiding hand of James Skelly as their producer, they’ve managed to put out brilliant singles and tracks destined for commercial success. They’ve got the hooks and the pop lyrics and with that it’s up to them where they take it from there. 

Owen Riddle

Single Review – Maggie Rogers – Dog Years

Many people have already seen the viral video of Pharrell Williams listening to ‘Alaska’ by Maryland NYU student Maggie Rogers earlier this year. In amazement he declares her sound unique. That may be a slight overstatement with clear similarities to Christine and the Queens, Anna of the North and certain tracks from Grimes. Despite this, to be comparable with them so soon, shows that’s there’s real talent there. Her new single ‘Dog Years’ is another chance to demonstrate this and though not as seamless as her first track (being broken up by more prominent beats), it still chimes and sweeps effortlessly. The lightly whirring electronica bounces off her vocals generating a symmetrical sound and this is the basis for the gradual flourishing of the song in the choruses. Though it’s more typical of a sophisticated contemporary Pop song, it still demonstrates her knack for production and her graceful delivery. If the only way is up, then she can really be as unique as Pharrell suggests.

Owen Riddle