Maisie Peters’ debut album You Signed Up For This, released under Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Records, hit number 2 on the album charts this week, second only to Kanye West (You couldn’t have waited one more week Kanye?) and its success is no surprise. Maisie’s music has been creeping into mainstream pop for a while now thanks to ITV2’s Love Island, who used her song ‘Favourite Ex’ in 2019 when Amy Hart decided to leave the villa, when she split with Curtis Pritchard. The emotional scenes of Amy crying paired with Maisie’s gentle voice singing “You were my no sleep, cried for weeks, favourite ex” in the background was enough to make me cry- I blame Maisie Peters for that one!
I myself, have been following the 21-year-old singer-songwriter ever since her first EP’s Dressed Too Nice for a Jacket (2018) and It’s Your Bed Babe, It’s Your Funeral (2019) were released. They contain songs I have sent to my best friends as they dealt with breakups and that I would listen to myself after another crappy boy let me down. The new 14-track album delves into similar themes of heartache, unrequited love but there is a strength in these new songs with messages not to settle for anything less, and that it is a-ok to be a little bit bitter as long as you’re better. The album is filled with this feral bad bitch energy, but here is a rundown of some of my personal favourite tracks!
YOU SIGNED UP FOR THIS:
The title track of the album perfectly encapsulates the tone of the album with its relatable diary-style lyrics:
I am 20 and probably upset right now
I still haven’t got my driver’s license
And I am sorry to make it about myself again
But you, you signed up for this
This sets the tone of imperfectability as Maisie sings about her fear of bugs and obsession with death. But this song is not an apology. She promises she will get “better” but “not yet” as she reminds that audience that “you signed up for this”. Iconic.
A personal highlight for me is ‘Volcano’, a gorgeous melodic song which grapples with Maisie’s frustration with a boy who treats her badly in this fantasy revenge scenario. Unlike Olivia Rodrigo’s passive-aggressive “Good for you, you look happy and healthy”, Maisie fantasises about throwing the boy in a volcano and hopes his “death is sudden”. Or my particular favourite line from the song is “I’ll cry you a river then drown you in it”. The savage lyrics contrasting Maisie’s gentle and calming voice make this song the perfect juxtaposition and catharsis of such heartbreak.
By far the most popular single on the album is ‘Psycho’, a phenomenal pop anthem which Maisie co-wrote with Ed Sheeran himself. I can 100% guarantee that this song will get stuck in your head for days as I have even caught my brother humming it! Maisie knew exactly what she was doing with this song as everybody screamed the refrain “You still call me psycho” at the album launch show on Friday 27th August at the Lafayette in London. The album is full of these catchy moments that inspire audience participation, which makes it so fun to experience live, if you can!
So, I slept on this song till my 3rd or 4th listen of the album, which proves one listen is not enough to appreciate Peters’ lyricism and cinematic storytelling in her music. ‘Villain’ perfectly expresses a specific feeling of rage when you are left feeling villanised after a relationship ends and you’re the only one who can’t seem to move on. Or maybe more sinisterly, Maisie really is the villain as the wicked chorus suggests:
Now you’re in her room, getting undressed
I curse you on the front of the steps
I’ll burn this house, I mean it
If she’s the girl of your dreams
The best thing you’ve ever seen
Well, what does that make me then?
I’m your villain
This list is by no means exhaustive. Every single song on this album has its place with ‘Hollow’ giving Taylor Swift ballad vibes, ‘Brooklyn’ serving as an ode to her sister Ellen and ‘Tough Act to Follow’ aptly closing the album. It is a gorgeous album, filled with powerful songs that show that even in spite of the pain they document, Maisie, and everyone who listens to the album can rise above the hurt and “get better”.
Image courtesy of Mohammad Metri