This track drops you in that place where green meadows meet the comfort of tree cover. It’s dawn, and the dewdrops from every blade of grass you walk through make your sneakers feel cool around your toes, and add weight to the hem of your jeans. Someone’s tied forks and spoons to a string then hung them from a branch for wind chimes. The air is damp enough to taste. There are birds.
This love song is straight nature. “I count my time in dog years, swimming in sevens,” she sings. “Slow dancing in seconds, oh, and I’m the one that loves you.” You can hear the woodpeckers and mason jars scattered in your ears. Maggie Rogers’ voice is clear like tap water. It comes out steady and smooth, and flows over and between each word. This liquid performance cleanses. The track opens on a light percussive rhythm that sounds like that forest’s clang of cutlery. The beat slowly and slightly builds with an intermittent bass kick and the distant echo of handclaps. Rogers comes at the chorus hard. She reaches for notes that the verse before didn’t even hint at. It’s easy to forget that she’s only 22.
“Dog Years” does what all five of the tracks on Now That The Light Is Fading do: it puts on display Roger’s indefinable sound and style. I couldn’t tell you what artists she sounds like if I tried. Pharrell Williams taught a masterclass at NYU, with Rogers as a student. It’s no wonder that he choked up listening to one of her tracks for the first time. He could barely offer her feedback. Williams was at a loss for words, and so am I. Have a listen below, and check out the full EP.