Maggie Rogers Goes Back to Her Roots with New Album Don’t Forget Me

image: press/maddy rotman

Maggie Rogers has gone back to her roots and is longing for love and youth on her new album, Don’t Forget Me.

With the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, it feels like the right time of year for a new album from Maggie Rogers. The light and breezy folk-pop sound she brings in this album will have you dreaming of sunshine and spending time outdoors. While fans noticed a shift in Roger’s musical style with her sophomore album Surrender, with Don’t Forget Me we’ve entered another new era, coming back to her more raw folk roots. Written over the course of five consecutive days, Rogers states that she “wanted to make an album that sounded like a Sunday afternoon” and that this album “feels like coming home”, with her returning to the music she used to write when she first started songwriting. Fans who have been with Rogers since the beginning can see this shift and how it only emphasises the versatility of her creativity.

Don’t Forget Me brings a feeling of familiarity, with sentimental themes giving listeners the idea that Maggie Rogers has really sunk into her sound. She takes us through a journey of heartache and desire with soft romantic guitar melodies and compelling vocals. With deeply personal lyrics exploring vulnerability, nostalgia, and loneliness, these ten songs are some of the most honest work we’ve seen from Maggie Rogers so far.

The album’s opening track, It Was Coming All Along, explores an existential crisis as Roger’s makes the realisation that she is “long past 22”, recounting the days of her youth in the face of fearing what comes next. The perfect upbeat sing-along for a coastal road trip, the song remains cheerful while delivering heavy lyrics such as, “It seems we’re always saying goodbye, and I just don’t know what to do”. Following this, Drunk gives us a taste of the Maggie Rogers we heard on Surrender, with a slight indie-rock punch. After just a few listens, I can already picture myself singing along at full volume.

So Sick of Dreaming, the second single released, brings a looseness and a bit of country flair to the album while discussing the exhaustion of trying to find love. An intimate track, Rogers adds some humour in the bridge with a story of being stood up on a date, “So he calls me up fifteen minutes before the reservation, and says he’s got Knicks tickets instead”. This song brings forth a carefree perspective of dealing with feelings of loneliness, and is a standout song perfect to blast on a summer’s day.

If you were lucky enough to catch Maggie Rogers on tour in 2023, you’ll remember that she gave fans a teaser of The Kill to get us excited. This song is instantly catchy as Rogers takes listeners through the bittersweet details of a past relationship. Lyrics such as “Remember the days we used to drive upstate, singing indie rock songs in the car” paint a picture of a carefree romance that once was. If Now Was Then continues this nostalgic trip with an added melancholic lens. A catchy pop melody, reminiscent of songs from Heard It in a Past Life, lingers behind pensive lyrics such as “I’d take it back, but I can’t, I’m sorry”.

As we move into the second half of the album, we can see Rogers taking us on a journey of healing and acceptance. She tells a personal yet universal story of heartbreak, regret, and loneliness, and brings along the many different phases that come with those.

I Still Do is a stripped-down introspective ballad where we hear Rogers longing for an ill-fated romance, singing about the love she still has for a past lover. These lyrics urge the process of looking inward while still moving forward, evolving from desperation to acceptance as we move through the track. Next, the captivating track On & On & On feels like Rogers realising she’s not the only one to blame for how this relationship came to a close. She sings, “One day, you’ll be lookin’ back and maybe wish that you were kinder”, almost posing a threat to this person now that she’s had some time to think about it.

Never Going Home has a slight Fleetwood Mac feel as Rogers dives into past experiences and explores where things went wrong. The repetition of the titular lyrics gives listeners the idea that Rogers has played these moments over and over in her head, examining every aspect of these memories. Nearing the end of the album, All The Same blends delicate guitar and warm piano notes with Rogers’ signature mesmerising vocals. The lyrics take us back to a sense of yearning, with “And still you wish for one more kiss; a moment’s bliss from a lover you’ve always known”.

The melody of the closing title track feels like home, giving the feeling that this is a song you’ve known your whole life. The song plays out as a rough journal entry about everyone around you growing up and finding romantic partners, and the worry of them moving on without you. The lyrics bring a sense of hopelessness with them, along with a desire for familiarity – “give me something I can handle – a good lover, or someone that’s nice to me”. Although glum, the instrumentals offer a sense of comfort, providing a song you’d want playing while you cosy up by the fireplace.

Rogers’ intention with Don’t Forget Me was to make an album to belt at full volume alone in your car, and it’s fair to say she has succeeded.  Diving into such heavy and emotional subjects while keeping your music easygoing can be a difficult task, but Rogers has hit the nail on the head. She sounds fully confident moving on from her more polished earlier work and embracing this rustic approach of pop meeting country folk. This album has given fans some sing-along summer anthems, and as she heads on her tour around the US and Europe over the next few months, we’ll have a chance to sing them along with her.

Listen to Don’t Forget Me👇🏼

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