Her songs about heartbreak, self-love, and friendship make you feel comforted and like she’s speaking directly to you through her honest and candid lyrics. The English musician, who hails from Brighton, has been releasing music since 2017 when she was 17 years old. Her early songs like ‘Place We Were Made’, ‘Worst of You’, and ‘Best I’ll Ever Sing’ display her boundless talents as a singer-songwriter, with a profoundly personal lyricism that has led many to draw comparisons to Taylor Swift.
In 2018, she signed on to Atlantic Records UK and released her first EP, Dressed Too Nice for a Jacket. We dare you to listen to ‘In My Head’, a breakup song about an ex going out with someone else, without it getting stuck in your head for hours. About a year later, she came back with another EP. ‘It’s Your Bed Babe, It’s Your Funeral’, with Maisie describing it as “emo girl pop.” This year alone, she’s released several singles from ‘The List’, ‘Daydreams’, and now ‘Sad Girl Summer’.
“I think it’s definitely been a journey,” she says, looking back on the last three years. “This year, I saw a comment on one of my videos, which said that Maisie seems to have really found her sound and come into herself this year, which I think is really true. And I’m really happy to be pursuing this. I love all of my past music, like, I stand by every single song. There’s not a single song that I put out that now, I’m like, I wish I hadn’t. I think that in terms of ‘The List’ and ‘Daydreams’ and ‘Sad Girl Summer’, they’re exactly the sort of music that I love and that I’m meant to be making right now. I think I’m in a really good place.”
Her latest single ‘Sad Girl Summer’ was written last summer when she’d first met Steph Jones and AftrHrs in LA. She’d jokingly said the phrase “sad girl summer” during brunch and decided to go with it, finding the concept to be really cool. “There was a song last summer that I was obsessed with,” she recalls. “It’s called ‘Houseplants’ by Easy Life. It’s just such a good, like sunny, summery, mellow bop. There was something about it that I loved. I played it for everyone and said I’d love to have something that feels like this. Then we all just kind of started playing around with our guitars. And yeah, we created this whole universe of ‘Sad Girl Summer’!”
The track is all about girl power and moving on from terrible exes, so for the official music video, Maisie and a bunch of her real-life best friends and twin sister, Ellen, sit in front of their computers with a white sheet hanging behind them in their own respective rooms while singing, dancing, and flipping the camera off. The idea was to show what a sad girl summer is. Maisie says, “It’s what girl gang hangouts look like but in the modern world of everyone face-timing each other and not actually being able to be together. It was just really fun, but also quite an accurate portrayal of girl gangs in 2020.”
In true Gen Z manner, Maisie also got together with her friend, Dominique, and choreographed a dance routine to go with the song for TikTok, an app that Masie finds herself mindlessly scrolling on at 3 AM. With all these singles out, many wondered if Maisie was leading up to another EP release. However, she confirmed that she wasn’t. EPs for her can’t just be a collection of singles put together, but something that has to make sense and have meaning.
“To me, I think ‘The List’ and ‘Daydreams’ come as a little pair,” she explains. “And so you should listen to them in tandem because I just think they fit in the same world. And then ‘Sad Girl Summer’ stands all on her own. Then whatever comes next may also stand on their own too. But there is an album that will come. I’m making an album right now, and I promise it will come out before I die, but not for a minute.”
With that, we can safely assume that Maisie has been spending a lot of time writing and crafting more songs. As a lyricist, she finds herself getting inspiration from a number of different places, which she says has varied over the years. “For the past couple of months, I’ve been writing a lot on my own, and most of my inspiration has come from things that I’ve been feeling or conversations I’ve had, whereas before I’ve had periods where I was just very inspired by the past or by random words and phrases from books or from films, or something somebody said.”
Along with writing, Maisie has also been finding other ways to keep busy, such as the daily bedtime covers she posted on her Instagram back in March. Most recently she started a book club called MP Book Club after a fan suggested it to her. “I’m such a big reader,” she says. “And a lot of my fans are too. I think we’re all really into language and poetry, and I can tell from the way everybody analyzes my lyrics, so I kind of thought that might be a thing everyone was into. But honestly, I was so surprised by how many people were keen on it. And it’s just been so fun. It’s the nicest corner of the internet. We do Zooms to discuss the books we read, like last month with the Florence Given book we read. It was so interesting to hear everybody’s opinions and from all over the world as well, people of all different ages and backgrounds and cultures.”
At the start of the year, the plan for Maisie was to go on tour as the opening act on Niall Horan’s Heartbreak Weather Tour. Though it got cancelled due to COVID-19, Maisie mentioned she was still open to doing it if the opportunity arises given that she’s a big fan of his. However, for now, she’ll be busy working on her album and having impromptu Zoom calls with her fans where they chat music and life. “They call me a Zoomer,” she jokingly adds.