Artists you may like: Tommy Lefroy, Cate, Gaitlin, Maude Latour, Dylan
Recommended Tracks: “BSC”, “History of Man,” “Watch”,“Therapy”
Maisie Peters comes back in full force within the release of her No. 1 sophomore album, The Good Witch. The Good Witch is an amalgamation of stories of Peters’ young adulthood and the experiences that shape her as a person. Peters proves to her audience time and time again that the powers of the pen are indeed mightier than the powers of the sword.
“The Good Witch” as an opening song is a tour de force. Maisie makes a reference to her opening on her debut album by twisting the lyrics “I am 20 and probably upset right now,” but instead says “Still me here, d’you think I forgot about you/Still upset but now I’m 22” on her sophomore album. She continues to narrate her life up until the lyric “I guess when it kicks in” where a sudden acceleration occurs with a drill effect. It is like nothing and everything has changed for Peters at the same time: “Still Kings Cross/Still pulling heartbreak out of hats/Still argue like my mother and suppress stuff like my dad.” This opening song ends with recordings of fans chanting “Maisie, Maisie, Maisie,” blending into the next song.
“Coming of Age” comes next and is all about the joys of being young and wild in your 20s while also about the regrets that come with reckless decision making. A bass line lies below Maisie’s vocals as she directly references it by saying “I couldn’t escape you like the airwaves of a bass line.” She refers to herself as “the playwright,” yielding power in her life. Peters reclaims herself and her identity through saying “Baby I am the Iliad of course you couldn’t read me.” She has stepped away from this toxic relationship through “quarrying new ground” and finding new things and people to place loyalty in.
The third track, “Watch” is about someone stalking their ex on the internet. Seeing the progress someone is making once they have cut you out of their life can be an infuriating experience. Peters perfectly captures this emotion of rage and anger through comparing it to a “face slap.” She sees the life that this person is living while blaming herself for making them better: “You’re being a superstar/And all I’ve got are victim cards/And you got every single thing you want/And I just watch.” Leading up to the song’s bridge, She sings “I know that I should know better/I don’t think I wanna get better/So obsessed now I don’t have ya/I just keep looking back at ya,” implying she is stuck in a cycle of toxic behavior of being obsessed with this ex.
“Body Better,” track number four, embodies feelings of jealousy. Peters feels her ex’s new partner has all of the qualities that she lacks. The song shows feminine rage and body dysmorphia: “/I can’t help thinking that she’s got a better body/Oh she’s got a better body than mine.”. Jealousy and body image issues are both things that many, struggle with at some point in their lives. She imagines her lover with another while hurting herself in the process. The fifth song, “Want You Back,” touches on feelings of regret that occur when ending a romantic relationship. It shows the trajectory of this relationship, starting with Maisie falling hard with the lyrics: “You caught a teacher’s daughter with a dangerous text/I read like a bible and I wore it like a bulletproof vest.”
“The Band and I,” the sixth song on the album, is where listeners get to know about the joy in Maisie’s life. She narrates her 2022 North American tour in a rock n’ roll song, along with all of its ups and downs. She writes about her friend Dom, getting into Julliard, her drummer Jack falling in love with an American girl, and her keyboard player, Tina, getting stoned. Romanticizing life makes it fun and Peters describes this perfectly when she sings “Guys I think we’re living the American Dream.” It’s the little things that really make life worth living, even if it means spending weeks with your band and crew on a 12 bed bus. Even during some of the best nights of her life, she still feels cursed: “Oh, it was letting go of everything but you.”
“You’re Just a Boy (and I’m Kinda the Man)”, circles back to Maisie’s reclamation of her life after this messy breakup. She pokes fun at Batman with the lyrics “Oh Mr. Bruce Wayne, where is your cape now!” It is a fun song, accompanied with tambourine and triangle in the background. Peters is on a “one way trip to take over the world.”
“Lost The Breakup,” the eighth track, echoes confident energy. Moving on from someone can be incredibly therapeutic. However, this process does take lots of time. The music video for the “Lost The Breakup,” was filmed in Tokyo, making it an international hit. In the video, Peters is seen strutting the streets and having the time of her life.
This confident and excited air all crumbles down in the ninth track, “Wendy.” She uses the well known star-crossed lovers Peter Pan and Wendy Darling to tell the story of her own star-crossed love affair. The lyrics “You could take me to Neverland baby/We could live off of magic and maybes,” illustrate Maisie’s doubt in this relationship, despite her love for the other person. The second verse: “You’re pretty like a girl till you’re vicious like a man” references the double standards that women face when trying to express their wants and needs in a patriarchal society. The bridge communicates her fear of letting her independence go: “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.” Maisie knows her relationship is doomed from the start even though she is in love.
Tenth Track, “Run,” is pretty self explanatory. It is a song about running away from your problems. The music video for this song is filmed in the forest, showing girls physically and metaphorically running away from their problems: “If a man says that he wants you in his life forever, run!” At its core, “Run” is about a deep seated fear of intimacy that develops after getting hurt too many times. The eleventh track, “Two Weeks Ago,” touches on heartbreak and regret. It is about wanting to turn back time and relive important moments of a relationship. It is finally torn apart at the airport when the lovers separate. The chorus line “And I loved you babe but I bet you knew that,” shows Maisie’s sadness and desire to get back with her lover.
“BSC,” the twelfth track, circles back to Maisie’s redemption arc. Lyrically speaking, this song is very clever. The first line is “I cut my nose to save some face/You cut your hair and take some space,” which is a clever reversal of the idiom ‘cutting one’s nose to spite one’s face.” In Maisie’ case, she is hurting herself in the process of dealing with her own problems. Maisie takes back her autonomy and is not blinded by love anymore.
Her feminine rage and anger felt in “Body Better,” is felt again with the lines: “I kept it in but it wrecked my organs/So pour the gin and call Graham Norton” She knows she was being taken advantage of and wants to “write you out” the way she wrote him in. In the first verse, love is being described as “a verb and not a bandage.” Love is an action and actions indeed speak louder than words. Peters shows time and time again that she is the playwright and the poet. People who wrong her are mere players.
The last two tracks on the album “There it Goes” and “History of Man” break the curse of love. “There It Goes,” is about all of the good omens in Maisie’s life post-breakup: A new home, a swan dive/A blank page, a rewrite/A black cat in the streetlights/An open door.” Maisie feels young and evergreen in this song, fully able to embrace life with open arms. Listeners get to follow Maisie’s healing process. She does yoga with her friends, spends time in Stockholm, and gets a new flat. With all of these life changes coming so fast, Peters tries her best to focus on herself.
The last song on the album, “History of Man,” is a reflection on the role that heartbreak plays in history, it is a reflection of her own history. She wisely uses biblical and historical references to convey this, referencing the story of Samson and Delilah and the story of the creation of Jericho. In the bridge, Peters says “Men start wars yet Troy hates Helen,” referring to the prevalence of women and women’s emotions getting caught in the crossfire of their own lives. She calls women’s hearts “lethal weapons,” referring to the volatile emotions that love make us feel. She questions the person she gave her heart to by saying “Did you hold mine and feel threatened?” No matter how hard she tries, history cannot be rewritten/ The history of her heartbreak cannot be undone. Despite these terrible experiences, Peters has come out better on the other side.
The Good Witch is an album that shows the importance of everyday magic in our ordinary lives.