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Meaning of ‘New Song’ by ‘Maggie Rogers’ feat. Del Water Gap

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Released: 2020

Features: Del Water Gap

“New Song” by Maggie Rogers, featuring Del Water Gap, is a wistful, contemplative journey into the raw landscapes of youthful thought, love and longing. It’s an exploration of the struggles of living with a desperate hunger for connection, and the seemingly insatiable desire for the solace and comfort of familiarity, even when it’s tinged with pain.

We kick off with Rogers voicing her struggle with a deep yearning, a “terrible curse to be under” – a reference to the often overwhelming power of attraction and infatuation, a common theme in pop music. There’s an acknowledgment of the ways in which love can leave us defenseless, exposed to being ‘smoked out’ or revealed in our most vulnerable state.

As we move through the verses, we encounter the bittersweet paradox of love. “You’re tearin’ me down with your cheekbones/ They’re warm, but they hit me like sharp stones/ When you pull away”. Here, Rogers skillfully illustrates how someone can be both a source of comfort and pain. The metaphor of cheekbones hitting like sharp stones implies the emotional ache that comes with the distance in a relationship.

In the chorus, “I don’t mind it” is repeated multiple times. This refrain reflects a level of acceptance and resignation to the mixed feelings of love and loss, and speaks to the universal human experience of yearning for something that is known to be painful, yet simultaneously is longed for due to its familiarity. The repetition of “I don’t mind it” underlines the intensity of these conflicted feelings.

The last verse speaks to an introspective time of self-realization, “I’m young but I feel like an old man/ The tar in my lungs and these cold hands/ They held onto you”. It is a poignant picture of youth and life being tainted by experiences of heartbreak. It’s worth noting how Rogers effortlessly deep-dives into exploring the weariness and heaviness that comes with emotional distress.

The song is rich with metaphors that throw light on the dichotomy of love – it is pleasurable and painful, alluring yet maddeningly elusive. Through “New Song,” Rogers and Del Water Gap compellingly capture the universal human condition of love’s exquisite torment.

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