Maggie Rogers, 'Light On' Song - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music News

Song You Need to Know: Maggie Rogers, ‘Light On’

Self-doubt fuels a cathartic counterpoint to today’s pop-empowerment anthems

“Would you believe me now,” Maggie Rogers sings over a gently-strummed guitar line in the opening to her new single “Light On,” “If I told you I got caught up in a wave?” Rogers’ latest is her most promising since appearing, seemingly out of nowhere, with her electro folk-pop viral hit “Alaska” in 2016. On that song, Rogers announced herself as a songwriter with a unique knack for dramatizing self-growth, for turning young twenties misadventure into anthems of self-discovery.

“Light On,” co-produced by Rogers alongside by pop mastermind Greg Kurstin and Jessie Ware/Harry Styles collaborator Kid Harpoon, picks up the story that “Alaska” had started to tell, two years later. Rogers sets an immediately familiar scene, drawing from a decade of well-crafted pop: Haim’s vocal echo, Robyn’s electro-melancholy, the melodic refrain on Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well.” The song, which vaguely sketches out the surely bewildering personal and professional journey Rogers has taken since becoming a highly-touted major label Next Big Thing, offers itself as a counterpoint to the standard pop empowerment declaration.

Instead, “Light On” earns its catharsis by centering Rogers’ own self-doubts and uncertainty.  The song’s climax comes halfway through, when Rogers repeats a line she’s already introduced in the first verse, a line she keeps getting told by those closest to her: “You should be so happy now,” she sings, her voice breaking this time, as if to show how the well-wishes of family and friends have fully transformed into a torment and a threat. But when Rogers arrives at the chorus triumphantly dancing on her own, she quietly delivers her response to such a demand with four, hard-won words that are seldom found in a pop song this self-assured: “I am finding out.”

In This Article: Song You Need to Know


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.