Notes From The Archive: Recordings 2011-2016, Maggie Rogers (Album Review)

Singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers released her first official studio album, Heard It In A Past Life, only last year, but the folk pop artist has actually been working hard for a while and releasing fantastic music for almost a decade now. Her latest release, Notes From The Archive, is a collection of old recordings and is the perfect way to recognise and appreciate the work that went in to achieving success.

Notes From The Archive contains 16 tracks, 6 of which have not been heard before, stretching from 2011 to 2016. It offers an insight into Rogers’ roots and exposes her talent as a songwriter in its rawest form. Heard It In A Past Life is not an album I’ve delved into too deeply yet, but after hearing a few tracks it’s already clear it’s quite a step in a different – perhaps more commercial – direction compared to her earlier work.

I’m not usually a fan of compilation albums or bootleg releases with demos, B-sides etc. (there are of course some exceptions…The Masterplan comes to mind…) but as someone who has not heard much of Maggie Rogers up until now, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed listening to the variety of genres she has tapped into over her career, including folk and americana, and noticing the evolution in her style and songwriting. The standout tracks for me are Resonant Body, a beautiful Mumford-esque folk song with a simple banjo riff playing throughout with really nice backing vocals and harmonies to accompany the lead vocals; and James, another banjo-centric song from the 2014 album Blood Ballet (which can be found on Bandcamp).

This is a really nice collection of songs from a talented artist and I would thoroughly recommend giving it a listen! There is also an expanded version too with commentary if you’re interested in hearing some context around the songs.

Rating: 8/10

Top Tracks: Resonant Body, James, Symmetry

Release Date: December 18, 2020

Tracklisting:

  1. Celadon & Gold
  2. Together
  3. Steady Now
  4. One More Afternoon
  5. Blood Ballet
  6. Resonant Body
  7. Symmetry
  8. Little Joys
  9. On The Page
  10. James
  11. (Does It Feel Slow?)
  12. New Song
  13. Anybody
  14. Kids Like Us
  15. Wolves
  16. Satellite

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