XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Light On” by Maggie Rogers

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Maggie Rogers | photo by Dylan Eddinger | dylaneddingerphoto.squarespace.com

When singer and songwriter Maggie Rogers recently announced her new song, “Light On,” on her Instagram and Twitter, she said “This song is a letter — from me to you — about the last two years of my life.”

“this is a song about gratitude. it’s the most vulnerable ive ever felt in a song. it’s about how overwhelmed and scared i was during all that change, but mostly about all the light you gave me when I couldn’t always find it for myself.”

“Light On” is from Rogers’ forthcoming full length, Heard It In A Past Life, due out on January 18th. Over those past two years, she’s had a quick ascent in pop music, going from being a relatively unknown folk musician to a literal overnight sensation on June 1st, 2016, when a video was posted to the internet of her sitting in an NYU class she was taking with musician and producer Pharrell Williams. During the playback of her song, “Alaska,” Williams was brought to tears by her song, and the video went massively viral.

The masterclass was for music students at The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Rogers, who had recently finished NYU, wrote the song in 15 minutes as part of her classwork. With Rogers sitting by his side, rocking to the subtle grooves of the song, you can see Pharrell swell up, glancing over at her with an “oh my goodness, this is incredible” look on his face. Williams called the song “singular,” comparing it to the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, and the rest, as they say is history.

Since then, Rogers has put on miles and miles of touring, including a sensational Free At Noon at WXPN in April, 2017. Next month, she appears as the musical guest on SNL and begins a tour opening for Mumford & Sons through the end of the year.

Below, listen to “Light On,” from Rogers’ forthcoming album. It’s driving, pulsing, and anthemic.

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