Surrender

Maggie Rogers

Surrender

Like most people on this embattled earth, Maggie Rogers spent the better part of 2020 in isolation—in her case, in Maine, where Surrender took shape. “I started this record there,” she tells Apple Music. “And I was really drawn to big drums and distorted guitar, because I missed music that made me feel something physically. I missed the physicality of being at a festival”: a big feeling, she says—a little overwhelming, a little cold, a little drunk. The noise was a symbol of chaos, but also of liberation. “Like, in all the craziness in the world, being able to play with something like that,” she says, “it was as if it could make my body let go of the tension I was feeling.” So think of the album’s title as a possibility, or even a goal: that even at her most commanding—the electro-pop of “Shatter,” the country swagger of “Begging for Rain” and barroom folk of “I’ve Got a Friend”—Rogers can explore what it means to relinquish control without sacrificing the polish and muscle that makes her music pop. “When we’re cheek to cheek, I feel it in my teeth,” she sings on “Want Want”: an arthouse on paper, a blockbuster in sound. When Rogers started the album, she was so burned out from touring she could barely talk. “I hadn’t been to a grocery store in four years,” she says. “I was ready to bite. And this record is the bite. But when I listen back, there’s so much joy. I think that’s the thing that surprised me more than anything—that that was the place I escaped to, and it was the thing that became the way I survived it, or the way I worked through it. This idea of joy as a form of rebellion, as something that can be radical and contagious and connective and angry.” “Are you ready to start?” she sings on “Anywhere With You.” And then she repeats herself, a little louder each time.

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