Melbourne, 2019

The incessant chirping of bugs and birds irritates you, knocking on the doors to your brain while you furiously attempt to block it out. It pesters you. Bothering you to the point of no return, you slump your weary head over your desk and cover both sides of it with exhausted hands. Nothing can stop – your head is jampacked full of thoughts, quotes and ideas, none of which are useful. The birds and bugs only get louder; swarming you and fizzing around your head until you can’t take any more of it and you groan. Let the stress in – you can’t defend this insatiable force once more.

I’m coming up slowly.

 Following a tense high-pitched stream of piano notes, you hear Maggie Rogers croon these words in a desperate manner. The tsunami of doubt, insecurity and panic is momentarily quietened as you are taken aback by this plea for peace.

I’m high on emotion.

 This encapsulates you. Instead of constantly worrying about due dates and financial problems, you can slightly lift your head and take notice of this woman’s beautiful voice. But it’s not just wonderful – it’s piercing. Slicing right through the typical conventions of music, these words hit you in your mind, rattling its foundations and transcending down your body until it grips your heart with the ferocity of lightning. It’s like this American singer-songwriter knows you, and is steadily feeding you the cure for all the pain that she somehow knows that you are languishing in.

When you hear her voice crackle and rise during And then I see youuuuuuu, euphoria and hope brews, sitting somewhere in your chest of emotions that you can’t quite place. You don’t know what it is, but something is gathering power in the deepest recesses of your soul, readying itself for an action that you cannot predict or expect.

It’s okay, it’s okay, I’m okay, I’m alright again.

 It simmers. The water is calm. The tide is nowhere. This sudden feeling that has gripped you – taken you away from the bills sitting in front of you, the empty paper that needs to be filled with meaning by midnight tomorrow, is yanked away. You feel like you are floating above yourself, taking a deep breath and feeling nothing at all.

Suddenly the chorus kicks in with its shazam and power.

Take me to that place where you always go/ When you’re sleeping or your day takes you low so low/ When I’m on and off again.

 This is different to the tsunami that piled on you and dumped its harmful waters on you before. Rogers understands you – sympathises with your plights, and highlights how she too experiences these doubts. Whatever your problem is, she knows exactly how you feel. Hence, she has built up an amazing wave of passion and self-help, letting its crest sit as high as you can see. When it crashes down during this intense blur of a chorus, it dumps on you and showers you. You can see flickers of her brain, her stress, her doubt. And it’s beautifully similar to yours. You are captured – taken to shore and tumbled out onto the sand, seaweed in your hair.

While she smoothly pulls back and returns to sea, a glint in her knowing smile, you sit up. Mesmerised, you see the tranquil wonder of waves crashing, feeling soothed while admiring the crystal-clear moon directing the water. You may listen to this song again, but whatever inner turmoil you are undergoing, you will never know what it is like until that chorus comes crashing down on you again, cleansing you and allowing you to regather. Maggie Rogers knows she has aided you, and you are powerfully hooked to her musical wonder drug.