Maisie Peters’ sophomore studio album ‘The Good Witch’ is cohesive and beautiful. Each song is its own tale, but together they create a magical story. One we plan to revisit time and time again.
Stream: ‘The Good Witch’ – Maisie Peters
You know the feeling you get when you’re listening to an album for the first time and you just know the songs this album holds are ones you will be revisiting for the rest of your life? Like the comfort of a favorite movie or television show. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s magic. Which is fitting, because that is how we felt after listening to the magically coated second studio album by Maisie Peters, The Good Witch. It’s an album we plan to revisit time and time again.
“I wanted there to be a kind of enchantment to it,” Peters tells Atwood Magazine, “to make an album that will define mine and my fan’s youth. It’s about feeling big and bold — quite literally, in the case of the artwork. It’s all true, but in the way I share it, it’s also quite surreal.”
From the chill inducing the title track that perfectly sets the table, to the gut punch that is “Want You Back” and the tale-turning “Wendy”; from happy tears for “The Band and I” to a song that is going to do big things “BSC” and finally one of the most powerful we’ve heard “History of Man” and everything in between, Peters has really done it with this album. There is something for everyone and yet each song is weaved together by a single thread.
Cohesive and beautiful, The Good Witch is Peters’ most intentional work to date.
From a young artist who we’ve always admired, from her days of her 2018 EP Dressed Too Nice for a Jacket all the way to her getting signed by Ed Sheeran’s label and opening for his stadium tour, Peters continues to sharpen her tools and make her mark on the world. This album will be sure to leave a big one. Below is our review.
In speaking with Peters in the past, we’ve bonded over the importance of lyrics. She has explained how she puts care into every single word she places into her songs. For that reason, we made it a point to pull out some of our favorite lyrics from this album in the review below.
Inside The Good Witch
The Good Witch
Maisie Peters is the reigning queen of track one. We said it with “You Signed Up For This” on her debut album, and although it seemed that would be hard to top, somehow she’s done it with “The Good Witch.” It is a sentimental and powerful intro, reminding listeners of who she is while preparing them for the journey of The Good Witch. A proper album, with a thoughtful beginning, end and middle can be hard to come by in 2023, but it is crystal clear with even these first two minutes and thirty seven seconds, Peters’ has put an immense amount of care into crafting this story for her listeners.
Still me here, d’you think I forgot about you
Still upset but now I’m twenty two
Still Decoy, still a good witch with her tea
Still bitter, still don’t play the black keys
Still wants to politely and properly warn you
When all I do is think about the past
Make it a universe that you can live in
You wanna hear from all the people in my heart
Well ok, when it kicks in
What kicks in at the end of the track is a collection of recordings encapsulating the memories that went into creating The Good Witch, complete with a roaring crowd chanting “Maisie, Maisie” on repeat. A chilling end to track one of this album and a wonderful reflection of everything she has done that has lifted her to the level of success she sees now, and will continue to see.
We’ve said this before and with the work of The Good Witch we’re tripling down. Peters is a lyrical genius. “Watch” starts in the most self-deprecating, honest way with,
Telling the wide web that this is my era
Then writing a lot of heartbroken music
Nobody actually happy and healthy
Has ever felt so desperate to prove it
She shares in her instagram of the song, “I truly did tweet ‘in my reputation era’ and then proceeded to write half a dozen songs about how sad and stupid I felt, which is deeply funny in hindsight.” Peters has always written gut-punching bridges. What is evident with The Good Witch is that she now is also giving us mic-drop outros, such as the one in “Watch.”
Now you’re living the goddamn dream,
have a golden star, this one’s for free
Coz you broke my heart and my self esteem
For a girl who’s a remix of me
But I guess you got everything you want, and I just watch
Want You Back
Taylor Swift has taught us that track 5 is the heartbreak song. Maisie Peters has delivered us a track 5 with “Want You Back.” She explains that, There are a lot of types of heartbreak, but quite possibly the worst type of heartbreak is when you know the person isn’t right and you know it will never work out, but you still can’t help what you feel. You still want them back. And these can make for the most beautiful songs. Peters explains, “I’m a Swifty and a big Lorde fan, but I also come from a generation of girls who grew up reading Twilight over and over. There is nothing more romantic
than heartbreak. There is probably a perverse side of me that enjoys the beauty of it, of finding it more romantic to hurt than to accept and let go. Hilariously, a lot of this album is written about somebody I was with for not even two months. I was obsessed. And I will merrily say that, because I’m not anymore.”
Found myself a lover that made everything rhyme
Slept under your covers it made everything right
Yeah I was the dj and the darling of your passenger side
So I know that you did bad
But if one more person says it, I might go mad
Yeah I know it didn’t last
And what was cheap to you, to me was all I had
The issue is I know all this and I, I still want you back
The Band and I
“The Band and I” is so special. It is the Almost Famous adjacent song of the album. It’s the “Long Live” moment. It’s Peters taking a moment to express how grateful she is for everything she has worked so hard to achieve and the people who have helped her achieve it. This is also one of those songs that paints such a clear picture, you can almost see everything she’s singing about. This is sure to be one that will be magical to hear live.
It was a far-flung wish
when we were young,
now we’re living the dream
and I hope we never wake up
The album continues with “You’re Just a Boy” which almost feels like a thesis for the album. The lyrics speak for themselves,
I’m on a one way trip to take over the world
You could’ve come, but your head’s in the sand
What’s a girl gonna do when she’s in love with you
But you’re just a boy and I’m kinda the man
Next is “Lost the Breakup,” which has been out in the world for some time now, but we would be remiss if we didn’t take a moment for these lyrics,
So I’m feeling and I’m dealing
with the heart you broke
While you do press ups, and repress us,
and take off her clothes
“Wendy” is a favorite on The Good Witch. It is a story that is all too common, yet not told enough. It is such a testament to Peters’ creativity: When the rest of the world sees Peter Pan, she sees Wendy. It’s easy to see the different paths your life could take. And for a lot of people, it’s easy to mold to make yourself fit into someone else’s life – especially if you love them. This can lead to you forgetting who you really are and what you really want. Peters’ saw Wendy’s story and with her songwriting, has turned it into something truly beautiful.
She says of the song, “It felt like I was really writing for women; that feeling of knowing you could love someone and be patient and just wait until they’re ready, but also knowing deep down that it’s not what’s right. That’s an important message to me and my friends. It is a real song for the girls.”
Take the hand and go with him, be the clock that he watches
Wait until he gets bored and wanders back to the forest
Lose the world that you live in, pretend that it’s what you wanted
It’s a life, I could have, I know
The album continues with “Run” which is truly an Andy Anderson style “How To” guide for avoiding heartbreak and not avoiding red flags.
If he calls you up, say he’s so in love
and it’s been one week you better, run!
Two Weeks Ago
Next we have “Two Weeks Ago” which has also been in our airwaves for a few weeks. The most recent single to be released for The Good Witch. Peters shines as equally in her witty lyricism and pop-anthems as she does in her stripped down ballads. “Two Weeks Ago” is melodically beautiful. Peters vocals are raw and cutting, the way she sings the song breaks your heart as much as the lyrics do. This track is a highlight in the album. Simple in its nature, but so timeless and intentional.
You were falling fast, I was holding back
And I loved you babe, but I bet you knew that
The song was true and the sky was black
God I wish it was two weeks ago
“BSC” is THE song of the album. We take a sharp turn from “Two Weeks Ago” to the song that is “BSC.” The Maisie Peters fans around the world are going to lose their minds to this song. It will be impossible to not sing this at the top of your lungs when, hopefully, hearing it live. You really have to listen to it to understand, but we feel confident in saying verse two of this track is one of the best written verses we’ve ever heard,
I kept it in but it wrecked my organs
So pour the gin, and call Graham Norton
I’m gonna throw you down the river
Your mum can watch it over dinner
Golden boy you dropped the ball
I am Annie Fucking Hall
If you don’t love me, what was April
You played a game but I run the table
Mr I Don’t Want A Label
You Made Me Little Miss Unstable and it
The chorus comes in,
Broke me big time
It’s funny and I’m laughing baby
You think I’m alright
But I’m actually bloody
motherf***ing batshit crazy
There It Goes
As we near the end of the album Peters gives us “There It Goes,” which in a lot of ways feels like coming up for air. It’s almost as if everything she’s gone through in the past 13 tracks is fine, because she’s made it through to the other side. Another iconic outro leads us out of this song and into the final track.
A new home, a swan dive, a blank page, a rewrite
A black cat in the streetlights, an open door
The comedown of closure, the girls and I do yoga
I wake up and it’s October, the loss is yours
Brick Lane in the brisk cold, and red wine on his hip bone
The witching hours of Stockholm that you won’t see
Sunflowers in the kitchen, a heartbreak in remission
The universe is shifting and it’s all for me
All for me
History of Man
The final track, “History Of Man” is the most powerful track on this record. It’s hard to believe at 23 Peters’ has so poetically captured the plague of heartbreak and love. The differences between men and women and how our differences lead to so much strife. For as long as stories have been told, men have been the ones to leave when things get hard and women have been the ones that do everything they can to make it work.
Women’s hearts are lethal weapons
Did you hold mine and feel threatened?
It’s strange that this all-too-common phenomenon hasn’t been put into a song for us until now, but we’re glad it was Peters that did it, because she did it flawlessly.
I’ve seen it, in the poems and the sands
I’ve pleaded, with the powers and their plans
I tried to rewrite it but I can’t, it’s the history, the history of man
I stay up, you’re sleeping like a lamb
I beg you, and you don’t understand
I hold on, I try to hold your hand
I save you a seat and then you say you wanna stand
So you’ll lose me, the best you’ll ever have
It’s the history, the history of man
The Good Witch is now yours! Enjoy it, and join Maisie Peters on the North America leg of The Good Witch tour starting in August.
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© Alice Moitié
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