MAGGIE ROGERS’ UNCOMPROMISING “WANT WANT” EXPRESSES THE DEPTHS OF HER DESIRES — AND FEARS
As a music journalist, it’s often hard to assess songs and their merit from just a few listens. Yet, on occasion, a song comes along that’s not only featured on the radio on repeat, but simultaneously grabs listeners from the very first note and doesn’t falter once — even by the hundredth time it’s played. Maggie Waters’ newest single, “Want Want,” is one such track, and is truly one of the best this year from the indie rock genre.
Maryland-native Maggie Rogers has always been a bit of an anomaly in the music world. She got her big break when her song was played at NYU to Pharrell Williams, culminating in a viral video of his emotional reaction. Rogers certainly has pop influences to her sound, specifically in her vocal similarities to Sia. Yet she takes even more inspiration from compositions by Mumford & Sons or Taylor Swift, songwriting by Lorde or Daya and an “elevated indie pop” approach by Bleachers or Jade Bird. Rogers is all these elements wrapped into one unique musical package, and “Want Want” is the culmination — a song that sounds exactly like her, yet like nothing else she’s ever recorded. Its beats are incredibly powerful and defined, while its guitar work and pointed lyrics are pleading yet defiant. Everything works together to make listeners really feel the heaviness weighing on Rogers’ soul, which is ultimately lifted by the cathartic end. The process to create such a strong sound was only natural, Rogers states:
“‘Want Want’ started in Maine during the pandemic in a small studio assembled over my parents’ garage … The song found its final form over the next year and a half … until we found the perfect knock-your-teeth-out drums, the right growl of the guitar tone. That roaring synth … always reminded me a little bit of … the right amount of bite that still invites you in. The video is about sensuality. About embodiment. About freedom. It was shot in in one of my favorite karaoke bars. Sticky floors and fluorescent lit bathrooms. Everything in its right place.”
Lyrically, “Want Want” is an incredibly direct and straightforward song about facing one’s fears when jumping into a new relationship when the desire for someone gets to be too much, exemplified perfectly in the pre-chorus: “And I keep runnin’ away / But when I leave, you pull me in again / Oh, here we go / I hold my breath and count the times / I walked my feet up to the line / Oh, we both know.” The Grammy-nominated artist knows just when to belt out the words or sing in her lovely higher register — perfectly portrayed in the karaoke-set music video — which in turn makes one lean in to grasp the full meaning of her words. The song plays like a conversation between Rogers and her listeners, literally and figuratively hitting all the right notes.
“Want Want” is one of the singles from Rogers’ upcoming sophomore album, Surrender, due to be released July 29 via Capitol Records. Fans can pre-order the album here to immediately download “Want Want” and Surrender‘s other already-released single, “That’s Where I Am.” You can listen to “Want Want,” and watch its energetic music video, for yourself below!