Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Maisie Peters expresses the pain that accompanies beauty standards in triumphant new single

From independent releases to a headline tour of the United States, Maisie Peters has undoubtedly made her mark on the musical world already, and continues to do so.

The twenty-two-year-old pop artist’s headline tour has been a great high point in her career, and opening for Ed Sheeran later that year demonstrates just how wonderful her natural talents are; listeners are certain that the sky's the limit for this young woman.

Her debut album ‘You Signed Up for This’ was released under Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records, and it was evidently immensely popular as it became the top-selling album that week in UK independent record stores. She has recently released a new track, ‘Body Better’ which has created quite the talk amongst fans, describing her as an artist with a sound understanding of real life and real worries, creating a space for people to feel heard and understood lyrically. 

Opening with a vocal “Ooh Ooh” before introducing the instruments gives the single a unique starting, powerful but subtle. Listeners are not bombarded with lyrics straight away but still experience this hit of dynamic sound, signposting the importance of the lyrics that follow. Peters herself describes the record as one of the “most honest songs” she has ever written, a fact that warms and breaks listeners’ hearts. The opening verse’s lines are accompanied by only a gentle beat played underneath them, once again spotlighting the words and messages themselves; the song’s essence encapsulates the pain of comparing oneself to the new partner of an ex, and how easy it is to blame yourself and your own appearance for the break-up. The lines in this first verse “You were it for me, did I just not do it for you superficially?” acknowledge this message initially, before a more powerful and less subtle nod to society’s harmful beauty standards is heard in the chorus. 

The chorus itself has an almost paradoxical upbeat nature to it. The instrumental accompaniment possesses a slightly cheerful tone, with drums operating at a fast tempo and guitar riffs perhaps more high-pitched and lively than would be expected in a single narrating a sense of worthlessness. Peters is unique in this way; we are graced with lyrical genius in the title’s choral lines “I can’t help thinking that she’s got a better body/ Has she got a body better than mine?” but also associate this with the animated use of instruments in the background. 

The track itself ends on a more solemn note after the bridge, as we get a moment of slowness, a glimpse into the reality of heartbreak. This occurs after the line “Will you tell me just one more Lie?/Is her body better than mine, mine?” which is in itself heartbreaking to hear. The pace slows a little here, and the volume decreases in Peters’ voice; as a result, we get an indication of this overwhelming sadness often accompanying a separation until we are quickly transported back to the conflicting energetic sound and heartwrenching, real lyrics. 

Overall, a masterpiece of sound. The merging of sound and lyrics to create this medley of insecurities blanketed by the power of music is truly inspirational, and something many young people will be overjoyed to hear break through to the music industry in this way.

Abby Price


Image: Maisie Peters ‘Body Better’ Official Single Cover


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