Friday, September 03, 2021

Maisie Peters releases electrifying debut album, ‘You Signed Up For This’

Maisie Peters has come a long way since she entered the music scene in 2017 with her debut single ‘Places We Were Made’. 

The twenty-one-year-old introduces us to a fresh new sound with the release of her debut album ‘You Signed Up For This’, whilst still staying true to her signature upbeat, youthful energy.

You Signed Up For This’ is an honest look into being young and in love, taking a deep dive into the messy emotions that accompany growing up and the crash and burn of a toxic relationship. Peters states, “I wrote so much of this album about my escape from here and my stupid, young, naive nineteen-year-old self catapulting [a]round London” (via Instagram). 

The influence of her own teenage escapism and spontaneity rings loud and clear in her music. The album is packed with big choruses, catchy hooks and beats, and the refreshingly honest lyrics and one-liners that have become a staple of Peters’ music. It strays from her more mellow acoustic pop sound in favour of pulsating, danceable electropop, which she pulls off effortlessly. 


The album opens with the title track ‘You Signed Up For This’, a driving, up-tempo introduction to Peters and her album. As she describes it, “It’s almost like a bullet point list of everything you need to know about me: I’m the narrator. This is my life right now. This is how I sing. This is how I write. But it’s really self-aware.” 

The track is a cheeky introduction to what’s coming as she tells the listener, “I am sorry to make it about myself again / But you signed up for this.” Lyrics such as “Don't go out much, 'cause there's too many bugs / And I'm way too obsessed with death to do any drugs” introduce us to the breath of fresh air that is Peters’ personality, accompanied by bright synths and a driving beat. 


From here, the album shifts into its light and bubbly first section. ‘I’m Trying (Not Friends)’ places the chaotic, flawed and awkward experience of young love and breakups over a fun, eccentric groove. ‘John Hughes Movie’ paints a vivid picture of Peters being rejected at a party, striking a balance between sad and empowering. After suffering the heartbreak, Peters comes to the realization that she deserves better, declaring, “'Cause if you don't want me / Then you're not the one”. Meanwhile, the fourth track ‘Outdoor Pool’ is a mellow, descriptive tale of a high school fling, full of nostalgia and innocence.


From here, the album takes a more serious turn, diving into the fallout of a toxic relationship. ‘Love Him I Don’t’ is a soft, raw description of the realization that the relationship is coming to an end. Packed with vivid imagery and quiet intensity, the track tugs at the heartstrings as Peters sings, “Loving him hurts / Loving him don't work / So love him I don't.” In contrast, ‘Psycho’ and ‘Boy’ are anger-charged, with an edge of empowerment, taking shots at the man she no longer loves. ‘Boy’ bears a striking similarity to ‘Don’t’ by Ed Sheeran, who co-wrote the track and collaborated with Peters on the album. ‘Hollow’ and ‘Villain’ show Peters being forced to sit with her grief and acknowledge her feelings about the end of the relationship after the anger subsides. 


The next few tracks take a lighter turn once again. ‘Brooklyn’ is a euphoric ode to sisterhood, vividly recounting the story of Peters’ trip to New York with her twin sister, Ellen. ‘Elvis Song’ is bittersweet, a nostalgic reflection upon fond memories of the relationship that has ended. One of the album’s sweetest tracks is ‘Talking to Strangers’, which describes the way Peters can’t stop gushing about the person she loves. 


‘You Signed Up For This’ draws to a close in its final two tracks by returning to the hurt of the broken relationship, letting it all out, and then letting it go. ‘Volcano’ is described by Peters as “feral” and sees her finally snap as the reality of the way she’s been mistreated sinks in. In a particularly scathing moment, she spits out, “Thought I'd be a cool girl, but turns out I'm livid / I'll cry you a river, then I'll drown you in it / Bet you hope I'm done, but there's no way I'm finished”. She also states that the song is heavily influenced by the ‘#MeToo’ movement, which is evident in lyrics such as “You pulled a lot of shit / I sat and bit my lip / And the world said nothing / And your friends said nothing”. The track is repetitive to showcase her mental state as she is overcome by her anger. Finally, the heart-wrenching, bittersweet ‘Tough Act’ closes the album on a mellow note. Peters comes to terms with the reality of the relationship and begins to move on and accepts the pain. She comes to realize that the relationship wasn’t meant to last and that it was nobody’s fault. She reflects upon the relationship with clarity and maturity, finally declaring, ‘You are one tough act to follow.’


It’s hard to believe that ‘You Signed Up For This’ is Maisie Peters’ debut album. Her unique brand of candid lyrics and upbeat music gives off the quality of a seasoned professional. The album is a relatable, emotional and heartfelt journey from start to finish, full of standout tracks, heart-wrenching lows, and euphoric highs. One thing is for sure: we’re signing up for much more of Maisie Peters.


Bella DeSouza-Cook


Image: You Signed Up For This Official Album Cover (PRESS)

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