Today’s Song: Maggie Rogers Stuns with “Say It”

Maggie Rogers 2019 © Olivia Bee
If you’ve ever experienced “the sparkly feeling of possibility” that accompanies having a crush, then you’ve got something in common with Maggie Rogers and her song “Say It.”
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Stream: “Say It” – Maggie Rogers


If you’ve ever experienced “the sparkly feeling of possibility” that accompanies having a crush, then you’ve got something in common with Maggie Rogers. The 25-year-old songstress, whose debut album Heard It in a Past Life has garnered considerable accolades since its January 2019 release, tackles the task of describing this exact sensation on the album’s seventh track, “Say It.”

“Say It” is easily overshadowed by shinier songs on the album such as “Light On,” “Fallingwater,” or the song that kick-started Rogers’ career, “Alaska.” Lyrically, “Say It” has easy and truthful verses that allow it to feel like a song you’d hear sung by a lovelorn twenty-something at a New York karaoke bar. Sonically, it is dizzying, sultry, and a bit overwhelming – just like the feeling of having a crush itself.

Heard It In A Past Life - Maggie Rogers Artwork

Heard It In A Past Life – Maggie Rogers Artwork

While the first verse dreamily sets the scene of the song, the refrain is where Rogers gets real about the impossibility of being with the object of her affections, somberly singing,

I cannot fall in love with you
I cannot feel this way
so soon, so soon
I cannot be this way with you
I cannot fall in love with you

The reason for this apparent futility is unbeknownst to us, but it’s obvious with just one listen that Rogers is aware that her feelings could never transpire into anything more than that. It’s no wonder that, when reflecting on the inspiration behind the song later, she would write that, “This song is about a crush. And while this one never turned into much more, I’ve got a lot of gratitude for that dude for giving me this song.”

The choir, sonically, juxtaposes the slow, flat beginning of the song, with the electropop tempo picking up as Rogers sings,

I knew it when you looked my way
That I’d be begging you to stay
I couldn’t say it to myself
I couldn’t say it to myself
I felt it burning in the way
I held on when you pulled away
I couldn’t say it to myself
I couldn’t say it to myself
I couldn’t say it
I couldn’t just say it
Maggie Rogers © Olivia Bee

Maggie Rogers © Olivia Bee

The conflict between what Rogers knows to be true and yet what she desires takes centerstage throughout the course of the song. The final product encaptures the intoxicating, slightly unstable tug-of-war between head and heart: a tug-of-war we can all confess to experiencing time to time. Rogers seems to be aware of this, as she sings,

I keep replaying in my mind
And wondering if you do the same
And if it makes you lose your breath
And if it makes you just forget
That all of it’s a bit insane

Perhaps that’s why “Say It” will be on repeat for days to come. It brings you back to every running in circles crush you’ve ever had, all while reminding you of something that we collectively have seem to forgotten a long time ago: sometimes the act of wanting something is more important than having it. And sometimes it’s worth remembering that, despite the awareness things won’t work out, we have every freedom to want them anyways.

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Stream: “Say It” – Maggie Rogers

 

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Heard It In A Past Life - Maggie Rogers Artwork

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📸 © Olivia Bee

:: Today’s Song(s) ::

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Maggie Rogers’ ‘Heard It in a Past Life’: A Track-by-Track Review

Vulnerability, Gratitude, and Change Inspire Maggie Rogers’ “Light On”

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A Gorgeous Tale of Growth with Maggie Rogers’ “Fallingwater”

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Racing Towards Enlightenment with Maggie Rogers’ “Alaska”

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Maggie Rogers Lights Up the Music Hall of Williamsburg

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:: Stream Maggie Rogers ::

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Madison Zoey Vettorino is a Journalism student at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She is passionate about both the written word and music because she believes they have something incredible in common: the capability to bring people together.