When Maggie Rogers released “Fallingwater,” she described it as “a song about rapid change.” This statement would eventually take shape into Heard It in a Past Life, a twelve-track album reflecting on just how much the singer’s life has been transformed in the past three years. Melding the folk music of her past with the electronic sensibilities she has developed in her adult life, Rogers takes the listener on an idiosyncratic pop journey of their own.
Dance-y album opener “Give a Little” reintroduces Rogers to the masses, confessing “you don’t know me, and I don’t know you” and “maybe we should get to know each other;” stating the purpose of this record both musically and lyrically, her intentions are made clear from the onset. Similarly produced songs follow, including the smash single/thesis “Light On.” The momentum of the first five tracks is interrupted by the quasi-title track — a Stevie Nicks-esque piano ballad — though this is merely a small detour before returning to form in the R&B-influenced crush song “Say It.” This leads us into the final stretch of the album, which focuses on the joys and pitfalls of love. “Retrograde” and the penultimate “Burning” juxtapose the subject well; the former describing the dissolution of a relationship, the latter detailing the exhilaration of a burgeoning love.
After reminiscing on all the change she has endured, Rogers brings the record full circle with “Back in My Body.” A beautiful, mid-tempo statement about returning to yourself by making peace with where you are at in your life, it summarizes Past Life neatly with the line “I found myself when I was going everywhere.” Closing the album in her own form of peace, Rogers is ready to take on the next great transformation. I can’t wait for her to tell us all about it.
Standout tracks: “Overnight,” “Light On,” “Retrograde,” “Back in My Body”