by: leigha stuiso

When you hear a good album you just know. Somehow when you press play on that first track, something just clicks as if it was magic. That magic lies within Maggie Miles’ debut full-length album, Am I Drowning Or Am I Just Learning How To Swim. The alt-pop artist reaches new heights with the collection of 12 well crafted tracks. It is very hard to believe that this is only the beginning for the 21-year-old.

Growing up Miles listened to Stevie Nicks and Ann Wilson, but found 90’s grunge as a major source of inspiration. In addition, she was introduced to live music from her father, who played in a Celtic rock band himself. She did not perform for an audience until she was 18, when shortly after she was discovered by Bruce Gates after performing at Pearl Street Warehouse in Washington, DC. After moving from the Western Hills of Northern Virginia to Nashville, Miles began to work on her music full time and towards this album. 

Am I Drowning Or Am I Just Learning How To Swim has a great variety of songs from “Split” to “i’m always smiling when i’m crying about you”. There is a different layer to each song that keeps the album fresh and easy to listen to. “Hilary Duff” stemmed from nostalgia of Lizzie McGuire and has a playful sound to it. Do not be fooled by the title, because Miles’ lyrics deal with real emotions and problems; “why would I rather get drunk at 2pm then try / to manage who I am?”. Her authenticity about life’s complications might just be the secret ingredient to her songs, something audiences crave in modern music. Singles off the album are finding their way into notable playlists like “WHATDOISAY?” on Spotify’s Fresh New Finds and “Move” on Apple Music’s New in Pop. 

“Shiver” is quick with a catchy chorus that can get stuck bouncing around in your head. Miles slows things down on “My Motivation Died.”, where her emotions are spinning out of control. However, out of all the tracks on the album, the track that takes the prize is “Deserve This”. It is the perfect combination of all the elements she uses on the album, wrapped up in just under four minutes. Maggie Miles put out her best music for her debut, showing that she is ready to move up the ranks in the industry. She shares a similar style to artists such as Maggie Rogers and Haim, but with her own unique take on her songs. Her thunderous vocals and head bopping beats make for the perfect recipe for the alt-pop artist to shine bright among the rest. There is something special about this album that will have you putting it on repeat for a while. Take a deep dive into Maggie Mile’s debut full-length album Am I Drowning Or Am I Just Learning How To Swim