Releasing today, The Good Witch is Maisie Peters’ second studio album. Her first, You Signed Up For This, released in 2021 along with her soundtrack album for the second season of Apple TV show Trying. At 23, she has been rapidly climbing the music industry ladder, having started off busking and posting songs on YouTube since she was just 15.
The Good Witch has fifteen tracks, which is roughly consistent with the first album which boasts fourteen. The very first song is that of the same name as the album – and ‘The Good Witch’ gets the album off to a good start. With a title reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz – it brings to mind Glinda, the ‘good witch’ of the South.
Interestingly, the album consistently has quite a magical realism feel when it comes to its lyrics. This has already been noticeable in ‘Wendy’, the ninth track on the album – officially releasing when the album does, but already previewed to a few lucky fans at acoustic shows. This song uses the narrative of Peter Pan as an extended metaphor for a relationship – “and go with him, be the clock that he watches / wait until he gets bored and / wanders back to the forest.” The tempo of this song is perfectly set, remaining slow and dreamlike until the bridge, at which point it becomes faster and a little more frantic to match the narrator’s indecision.
Of course, it’s hard to review The Good Witch without reviewing its single, ‘Lost The Breakup’. This is possibly the most triumphant breakup song ever, akin to Taylor Swift’s ‘Mr Perfectly Fine’ but less mournful. In addition, the song has a line that can be customised for live shows. “I’m kind of busy, like…” has been ended by Peters with “I’m on Fallon tonight,” or “I’m in Nottingham tonight”, and so on, depending on the venue. It is one of Peters’ most relatable songs – reflected by its popularity – and the element of potential interactivity compounds this.
There isn’t a lot of variation in audio texture across the album, with the same beats remaining consistent throughout, but it’s a beat that works for these songs – all, that is, except for ‘Two Weeks Ago’, which remains strongest as an acoustic single rather than the album version. This is such a heartfelt song, and reducing the noise around the lyrics increases their impact. The album balances the feelings of triumphing over an ex and mourning the relationship you had with them, without leaning too much into one or the other. It would be easy for the album to be overly vindictive, or simply a sob album, but Peters lands it perfectly.
In this album, Maisie Peters evokes a feeling that some of the conflicts in her relationships have been inevitable due to the repetitive nature of relationships in human history. There’s a sense that people have always been people and many have always felt the struggle to be acknowledged and heard. ‘History of Man’ proves why Peters has said the album is inspired by Greek mythology. The song is an epic, a warning. “The men start wars yet Troy hates Helen / Women’s hearts are lethal weapons / Did you hold mine and feel threatened? / Hear my lyrics, taste my venom / You are still my great obsession.” Peters’ lyrics flow so seamlessly on this album, blending rhyming and repetition in a way that doesn’t feel forced.
It’s an impressive song to finish the album off with and really seals the sense of magical realism. It will leave listeners wondering if Peters truly is a witch from another world – in the good way, of course.
Words by Casey Langton
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