In this modern era of music, the internet has the still bizarre ability to propel an artist straight into a spotlight through viral content and endorsements from mega-stars. This happened to Maryland musician Maggie Rogers when production extraordinaire Pharrell was seen teary-eyed, gushing over an early track. Fast froward three years, a host of critical accolades and huge live moments and Maggie has become a known name, clocking her own combined following of over a million.

She may have broken to relative stardom in a modern way yet the music presented on her awaited debut Heard It In A Past Life feels deep rooted in nostalgic Americana, a wash of soft palette colours. Citing some of her biggest influences as Patti Smith and Carrie Brownstein whilst also having an unashamed adoration for pop, Maggie brings together two worlds like capable dancers throughout this album. ‘Light On’ begins and ends with a solitary string yet builds to a momentous chorus, her vocal tremors as layers of electronics and driving percussion race in to accompany.

Self-produced alongside pop virtuoso Greg Kurstin who helps transform Maggie’s earthy narratives on the likes of ‘Overnight’ into chamber pop marvels similar to past collaborator Lykke Li. Painting in lighter strokes, ‘Burning’ is nimble, spirited number with movements as free as Rogers own stage persona. Opening track ‘Give A Little’ could have fallen on the cutting floor whilst the HAIM sisters were recording their debut, managing to capture a sun-drenched nostalgia whilst sounding undoubtedly modern.

Classically trained in the harp and a fascination with water, there are comparisons to another flame-haired songstress Ms. Welch, most notably on previous single ‘Fallingwater’. A cascading, exposed number that lets voice really dictate the direction and undercurrents, as she valiantly battles against natural elements and motifs of tumbling, dropping and inevitably crashing out. It utilises electronic elements to heighten what is essentially a folksy in-the-round confessional, a reminder of Maggie’s modest banjo beginnings.

Yet unlike Smith, Bush, or Björk, there’s hasn’t been razor sharp quality control applied to this record. Certain tracks drift by leaving little impression. ‘Retrograde’ sounds tinny, two dimensional and its songwriting feels pained rather than profound. The title track sounds like an X factor winner attempting a reimagining of Lana Del Rey. Meanwhile Rogers fascination with metaphors surrounding light and dark means the agonising ‘On + Off’ makes the cut with tired clichés and jarring pace. It’s inclusion is particularly frustrating when both ‘Dog Years’ and ‘Split Stones’ are missing.

Circling back towards ‘Alaska’, the masterful, sharp song that Maggie described once “fell out of her” and you understand the excitement around her. It’s as pure and refreshing as a strong blast of arctic air, deeply feminine and reflects its unusual creator. Elsewhere this individuality has been smoothed out by production and a lack of lyrical diversity. Undeniably a star, Maggie’s light has been dimmed here.