Maisie Peters – You Signed Up for This
Maisie Peters’s You Signed Up for This has a lot of staple themes: alcohol, exes and their current girlfriends and lines such as “girl of your dreams”. She opens with the title track, using a familiar indie beat and a carefree melody. The tune quiets down on the first chorus, coming across as shy and hesitant. This changes as the song progresses and the artist breaks down walls. As the singer’s first full-length album, this is the perfect introduction.
The flowery break-up tune I’m Trying (Not Friends) follows next. Fast-paced with a breathless delivery, the track resembles Taylor Swift’s Paper Rings in terms of storytelling. Teenage recollection in Outdoor Pool brings back memories of trying to impress that popular guy in high school and feeling content in his presence and with his attention. It’s one of the few songs in this record that is quiet and minimal. The unresolved ending reminds the listeners that there was never a beginning to this so-called romance, therefore there’s no conclusion either.
Boy is sassy, using the title term as an insult to assert that being a man isn’t an excuse for bad behaviour. It has the same type of passive-aggressive tone found in some of co-writer Ed Sheeran’s songs such as Don’t and New Man. Quiet and accusatory, Villain is almost like a better version of Psycho. It has the same message, and the artist takes the harmful connotations of “villain” – as she also does with “psycho” – and uses the word to vindicate herself. The simple ways she adds dimensions to the song, such as layering harmonies, create impact in specific lyrical deliveries. Peters isn’t mad or aggressive, just tired of the trope.
Recalling previous relationships, Elvis Song touches on the unrequited. The pacing of the track is great because the listener can hear the movement in the locations she mentions: the Northern Line, the arcade, the sofa bed. It’s all very cinematic; there’s something particularly faraway and nostalgic to the tune. In general, many of the break-up songs in this album detail cheating and trying to get over someone who has done something wrong. Tough Act, on the other hand, is the perfect closer because it takes all these feelings and throws them away. It expresses anguish over a good separation because there’s no one to blame. That in itself is a cathartic ending and, in the words of Peters, “one tough act to follow”.
Photo: Patrick Gunning
You Signed Up for This is released on 27th August 2021. For further information or to order the album visit Maisie Peters’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Psycho here: