Singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers, 28, rose to fame in 2016 after the success of her song “Alaska,” for which she received praise from big names like Pharell Williams. She released her debut album, Heard It in a Past Life, in January 2019, which debuted at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200. Since then, she has been pretty quiet, but for good reason: Rogers recently released her second studio album, Surrender.
Surrender consists of 12 tracks that explore themes of love, suffering, and self-acceptance. She began to write and record the album in Maine during the pandemic. The album is much different from her first album, which was mostly acoustic and folk with some techno influences. Surrender, on the other hand, is much more electronic and experimental. Rogers collaborated with a variety of musicians, including Tyler King, a Portland, Maine-based producer. He produced and co-wrote the album with Rogers and played guitar and keyboard for several tracks.
Rogers has always blended folk, pop, and electronic influences in her music, but on Surrender, she leans more into distortion, drums, and dance beats, creating a loud and energetic sound that contrasts with the quiet and isolation of the past year. As she told ELLE.com, "In the quiet, I found distortion to be incredibly therapeutic and really calming... I wanted to make something that I felt really physically." The result is a collection of songs that are both cathartic and fun, inviting listeners to let go and feel everything.
A standout track is "Anywhere With You", a road trip song that doubles as a declaration of devotion. Co-written with her old friend Holden Jaffe, who makes music with the stage name Del Water Gap, the song captures the feeling of escaping the mundane and finding freedom and connection with someone you love. The song builds up to a euphoric climax, with Rogers belting out the lyric "You tell me you want everything you want it fast, but all I've ever wanted is to make something f-cking last" over a cathartic crescendo.
The album also features some of Rogers' most personal and vulnerable songs, such as "Horses," a ballad about her longing for nature and simplicity, and her track "Begging for Rain," a sprawling meditation on futility and faith. On the latter, Rogers sings over a gentle acoustic guitar and a subtle melodica by Jon Batiste: "You work all day to find religion and end up standing in your kitchen, wondering 'bout the way it's always been." The song reflects her own spiritual journey, which she explored in her graduate studies and in her music.
“She’s one of my favorite artists of all time,” said UMD sophomore public health major, Ella Rosenthal. “I was waiting for so long for this album and it lived up to every single one of my expectations.”
Surrender is not only a testament to Rogers' growth as an artist and a person but also a gift to her fans and listeners, who have been craving for music that can heal, inspire and unite them in these challenging times. As she told Teen Vogue: "I think there is so much in our bodies, especially now, that cannot just be talked through, that actually needs to be released physically. Helping people find solace, community, and joy is something I care deeply about."
Surrender is an album that invites us to do just that: to surrender to ourselves, to each other, and to the moment.