This year, one of my closest friends recommended Maisie Peters to me, and now, I have her debut solo album on repeat.
Maisie Peters released ‘You Signed Up For This’ on 27th August, the day I happened to be on an eight-hour long car journey, meaning I could truly listen to this album. I could rewind different parts, and soak up the lyrics – and of course send a few excited messages to my friend along the way. So, what is it that is so incredible? We’ve had ‘breakup albums’ before, right? Of course we have. But they never seem to go out of style, especially when they’re full of Peters’ wonderful lyricism.
This ‘breakup album’ isn’t simply one-dimensional. Many of the songs are about heartbreak, but there’s so much more. Love, whether romantic, platonic, or familial, plays a huge role in this album. Alongside discussing the pain of a breakup, Peters sings about how the people you care about become such an intrinsic part of who you are – “they talk ‘bout the news, I just talk about you.” (Talking to Strangers)
Some of Peters’ songs are about taking accountability for your own shitty behaviour. With so many ‘breakup albums’ today, many artists either write whole albums glorifying their own toxic behaviours, or go fully down the victimhood path. Peters is so powerful because she does both. She sings about when she’s been mistreated in past relationships – “I’m finished ‘cause I’ve learnt / loving him hurts” (Love Him I Don’t) – and the inherent misogyny that comes with a lot of breakups – “you’ve got a girl, but you still call me psycho” (Psycho).
Yet Peters also sings about when she’s been wrong. ‘Elvis Song’ is about leaving a good relationship, and knowing you only have yourself to blame – “I’ve got no right to miss you / All I did was kiss and fly”. ‘Villain’ has Peters hold her hands up and admit that sometimes you mess up and hurt people when you’re hurting – “Now I’m drunk and I’m mean outside your house”.
‘You Signed Up For This’ has some incredibly soft songs you can cry to – whether out of sadness, relatability, or wholesomeness – but it also allows you to sing at the top of your lungs with your closest friends. You can comfort each other about your exes, and celebrate your friendship in one album. It’s the perfect ode to love and heartbreak.