At twenty-one years old, Maisie Peters releases her most outstanding rollercoaster of an album, yet–You Signed Up For This (via Ed Sheeran’s label, Gingerbread Man Records). You Signed Up For This takes listeners on a nostalgic journey through a young adult life filled with memories and stories to last the ages. From adventures through Brooklyn, first loves, and borrowed IDs, Peters manages to pull forward each the life experiences of every audience member while expressing her genuine, emo-pop tales of a life lived largely. While Maisie captures this feeling, she too mentions that her experiences in music have all lead up to this masterpiece;
“I feel like I’ve spent every day since I was 12–and picked up a terrible nylon string guitar and wrote my first song–waiting for this moment. It’s been years of train rides and bus journeys, sleeping in spare rooms and on sofas, writing and writing and writing and writing and hoping that I could make something special, important, and necessary. Mainly, hoping that I could make something that I love. And I am so happy that I really can say with my whole entire heart that L O V E I this album . . .”
At first glance, this album comes off as a classicly pop LP. However, with each second spent listening to each track and as each listener digs deeper and digests the lyrics–the dark undertones are unveiled. Beneath the sonic themes of mostly upbeat-pop songs, there lies a more sinister nature– a nature that follows a common saying from Peters this summer known as feral-girl summer. Partnered with the melody and harmonies of the track, Maisie provides listeners a unique take that could catch some by surprise. As Peters embraces the crazy ex with reason and poise through her gift of story-telling, she excels in this unexpected perspective by leaps and bounds.
We picked our favorite tracks from the album. Here are our thoughts on them!
You Signed Up For This
The title track, You Signed Up For This, starts off the album with a true anthem of the ages, introducing vague themes that carry through every song of this LP. With a nearly classic and bouncing sound, the introductory track makes a statement upon entrance and sets the tone for the adventure that it will take you on. Through the track’s visualizer, released a few weeks before the album itself, Maisie Peters provides us with a simple video of her sitting on a bus, blasting the track, on a journey through the seafront of Brighton, a perfect scenario to be listening to the track.
“I hopped on a random bus along Brighton seafront and then stuck a little camera to the top deck window and filmed this and I love it. it just feels so perfect and right for this song, and the fact that it had been pouring with rain and then right as we got to the top of the hill the sun came out it was all very fated. also, imagine we just happened to find a completely empty bus and no one came on it for an hour and a half like !!!! fate !!!! the full thing on my youtube I hope u enjoy”
Maisie Peters; IG @maisiehpeters
John Hughes Movie
‘Cause this ain’t no John Hughes movie
Where the girl gets the guy
You look right through me
Every time you walk by
I keep waiting for the heartbreak music
That’s never gonna come
‘Cause if you don’t want me
Then you’re not the one
Maisie Peters; You Signed Up For This – John Hughes Movie
The first single Maisie released off the album, and the music video paired with it truly shows Maisie’s first steps in curating her perfectly unique sound. Even though the lyrics are highly relatable to the masses, Peters has found a way to portray her unique style and vision that sets the John Hughes Movie apart from anything else out there. Through her dance/electronic build-up and beat drops, she portrays that similar light pop sound. At the same time, the music video tells a different story.
This particular track acts as a true throwback for those just graduating high school, as it showcases Maisie Peters’ talent in story-telling through a high school relationship. Through this emotionally-driven pop track and emotive vocals in the foreground, she drags out that oh-so-familiar sentimental feeling, one similarly found in tracks later on in the album like Elvis Song. Through experiencing the growing pains, being rebellious, and the impression that doing something hiding will change who you are, Maisie Peters’ emphasizes a lesson that listeners know well. You are who you are, and if it wasn’t good enough for the partner you’re going after, it certainly would be for the next.
With its punchy production and instantly memorable chorus, ‘Psycho’ finds an empowered Maisie reflecting on toxic relationships and gaslighting exes. Through the music video of this track, she partners with other women dressed like her to act revenge upon someone after they’ve gotten caught up in their lies, very clearly following Peters’ vision for the track as something nearly every single person in the world can relate to.
Through Psycho’s stripped-down acoustic version, Peters’ charming vocals are placed at the forefront, delivering a relatable message with grace and poise.
Through the melody and lyrics partnered together, Hollow is a bittersweet taste where, melodically, Peters illustrates the story behind this track as a soft and pleasant one, following an almost perfect pattern of iambic pentameter (the romantic language of Shakespeare.) However, once the lyrics and intention behind the track are digested, one can find the common theme of a darker undertone to the track. The lyrics clearly tell a different story than the bubbly sweet melody. In its clever presentation of a classic ballad, Hollow sets itself apart as one of the first softer songs of the album, but more so, showcases Maisie’s substantial understanding of song-writing.
Lying in the meaning, you hear the inner conflict in the meter of the track as it battles with the soft sounds of Maisie’s vocals. The content of the lyrics is a stressor in the theme of the album as a whole. In this track, she softens the blow in a sense and makes the boy she sings about sound softer and more gentle in this track. The oh, so perfect, romantic, iambic pentameter stumbles as soon as Maisie brings up her own inner emotions, all while every time she brings up him, and the boy she was in love with, the rhythm of the track falls back into place. Just as the structure of the track, Hollow, acts as a statement towards the internal conflict of the love-sick and heartbroken.
I wasn’t broken ‘til you tried to fix me
I wasn’t lonely ‘til you came around
It’s all magic ‘til you see the trick babe
It was eye to eye to word of mouth
We had a future ‘til you made it history
I was yours until you let me down
I’d rather see love as an optimistic
Than know the things that I know now
The casualty of love is the price of being free
You said this is something that we both need
So how do you feel coz I feel
Hollow, this hurts so loud, further than down
You left me hollow, are you happy now?
I hope you’re happy now
Maisie Peters; You Signed Up For This – Hollow
Brooklyn, a track that not only encapsulates Peters’ ability to write lyrics but acts as an absolute benchmark in her talent for story-telling through this album. Although other records stand out, Brooklyn takes the listener line-by-line, through an adventure with her twin sister, Ellen, through Brooklyn.
“. . . It was our first time going away without our parents, and basically this song just chronicles exactly what happens line for line. it’s literally all true, the Michigan fake ID, the boy (i did go for it kind of), the one jacket that we shared, the terrible 2 am tickets she booked (I’ll never let her be in charge again). she does also have the prettiest eyes and is the girl of anyone’s dreams, and this song is an ode to us, and to sisters everywhere. Dominique messaged my mum and got all these old home videos from our childhood and created this video which makes literally everyone cry so I hope u enjoy it it 🥺😭 full thing on youtube go watch it. ow it’s so good and remember IF U WANNA TAKE HER OUT UR GONNA HAVE TO ASK ME FIRST.”
Maisie Peters; IG @maisiehpeters
As the album reaches the second half, it appeared to be taking a different direction with a softer close with more acoustic styles, leaving Elvis Song to be a pleasant surprise sonically. As it is no shock for the lyrics of this track to paint a beautiful image that ties closely to each listeners’ own experiences, the track beyond stands out on this half of the album. With Elvis Song, Maisie Peters not only returns to a more upbeat sound and, despite this only being the beginning of the You Signed Up For This Era, but the track also holds a very classic sound that only sets further anticipation for the projects to come from Peters.
As she sings of previous relationships and reflecting back on the past, the listener cannot only pull from their own experiences but walk a mile in Peters’ shoes as she describes her own life experiences. Once again, just as the title track and nearly every track in this album, Maisie manages to cultivate a perfect project for late-night drives with the music on full blast.
I’m thinking about
Late nights in the old arcade
Drinking cheap wine as Elvis plays
Singing “You were always on my mind”
I was yours and you were mine
Breakfast on your sofa bed
Thinking, ‘Oh God, I’m in over my head’
You were always on my mind
You’re always on my mind
Maisie Peters; You Signed Up For This – Elvis Song
Peters has set this Era of her music up as one tough act to follow with the concluding track, Tough Act, finishing off the album with a tidy bow. Although the direction of this track follows a similar theme to that of the entire album, it seems that she has turned into a softer, sweeter sound while addressing an ex or significant other. Despite the confident “feral-girl summer” vibes that Maisie embodies through most of the tracks in her debut album, this one stands out as a conclusion with understanding how to accept the past, who you are, and how to move forward.
Maisie Peters’s comment on the release of the title track, You Signed Up For This and Brooklyn, clearly states the importance of the release of the visualizers and the tracks themselves before the album. Yet, her statement continues to discuss how she is content over the idea of not just the tracks living forever on the internet as a “perfect snapshot of my past and present,” the album truly speaks to that statement as fans capture a glimpse of both Maisie’s past and present, and their own. She continues,
It’s been a strange few weeks/months/year and a halves, but the closer we get to the whole album being out the more real it feels and I really truly cannot fathom that you will all have it all so soon. And yes I just want to say how grateful I am that you all are as excited as I am I could never take that for granted. I am the most lucky 21 year old girl girl ever. I can’t believe this is my life. I really do it for all of us. Thank You.
Maisie Peters; IG @maisiehpeters
You Signed Up For This is available now on all streaming platforms; be ready to dive straight into the deep-end through both Maisie’s and your own young adult life lived abundantly. As Peters also states, be sure to remember, You Signed Up For This.
Maisie Peters Live Show Dates
*You Signed Up For These Record Store Shows– In the week leading up to the release of You Signed Up For This, Maisie Peters’ has played a run of record stores. She will also continue to play in this more intimate setting the day of and a little bit after the release of her debut album. Catch the dates of Maisie Peters’ upcoming shows below.
August 27 – London Lafayette*
August 29 – The Big Feastival (Kingham, UK)
August 30 – All Points East (London, UK)
August 31 – London Rough Trade East*
September 2 – Edinburgh caves*
September 3 – Leeds Brudenell*
September 19 – Isle of Wight Festival (Newport, UK)