Alaska (Maggie Rogers song)

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Alaska (Official Single Cover) by Maggie Rogers.png
Single by Maggie Rogers
from the EP Now That the Light Is Fading and the album Heard It in a Past Life
ReleasedOctober 14, 2016 (2016-10-14)
FormatDigital download
  • Maggie Rogers
  • Doug Schadt
  • Rogers
  • Lawes
  • Schadt
Maggie Rogers singles chronology
"Dog Years"
Music video
"Alaska" on YouTube

"Alaska" is a song by American singer and songwriter Maggie Rogers. It was released on October 14, 2016, through Debay Sounds and Capitol Records, as the lead single from her extended play (EP), Now That the Light Is Fading (2017).[2] The song was written and produced by Rogers and Doug Schadt.[3] The song became popular after Rogers played it for Pharrell Williams at a Masterclass held at her school.[4] His reaction to the song went viral, and "Alaska" gained popularity.


In an interview with Alex Siber of Pigeons and Planes, Rogers said about the song: "The music, in a lot of ways, reflects this meditative quality I get from hiking and dancing. They're two polar opposite things when you're thinking about them from a distance. With one, you're alone in the middle of nature. The other involves loud music and groups of people. But my experiences with both of them in the last three years have turned them into a mental health thing, a grounding process. I think about them in the same way. They're the most ancient, primal release. When I had been hiking in summers after Alaska, I had been creating a natural sample bank of birds, noises. A good chunk of the rhythm in the song started from me just patting a rhythm on my jeans. That sample is the main rhythm. Me snapping in a room. I wanted to make dance music, or pop music, feel as human as possible."[5] She also talked about the artwork for the single, saying "the artwork is from my time in Alaska—that's me in the red. It's funny, the 24 hours leading up to that photo were miserable. It had been raining for days straight, it was super foggy. We were having trouble navigating. We were in two different groups, separated from our friends. But that morning, everybody found each other and we cooked this big feast of pancakes and macaroni and cheese. Then the sun came up. We were in this glacial basin where there was this pool, essentially, and we hadn't seen any body of water like that. Nothing with that sort of volume. My best friend took that photo of me as we were getting water to cook the food [Laughs]. It seemed like the only appropriate way to represent the music."[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Idolator's Rachel Sonis labeled the song "endlessly infectious".[6] Chris DeVille of Stereogum called it "a gorgeous thing to behold: thumping acoustic guitar figures, a crisply minimal disco drum beat, eerie background noise, thunderous bass, and twinkling pianos, all topped off by Grimes-reminiscent high-end vocal work. You're going to be hearing this one for a long time."[7] Paste's Scott Russell dubbed it "hauntingly beautiful".[1] Alex Siber of Pigeons and Planes said "what sounds like a soft-spoken soul begins to soar, liberated, as the record progresses. Rogers breathes the crisp air of glacial plains, fueling a voice that's at once as delicate and powerful as the nature she describes and samples in the track's backbone. Each component of 'Alaska' pulses with the same heartbeat, amplifying itself like an echo chamber in which dancing is required and sadness is left at the door. What remains is an ear worm as infectious as it is earnest, one that took time to crystalize."[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Zia Anger, was released on October 18, 2016.[8]

Rachel Sonis of Idolator described the video: "The clip sees the singer dancing in the woods during what appears to be dusk. The image then switches to a full-on evening dance party amid the trees, as Rogers and a bunch of dancers proceed to effortlessly execute joyous choreography before she disappears into a dark field."[6]


Chart (2016–17) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[9] 13
US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)[10] 13
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[11] 18


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[12] Gold 40,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
United States October 14, 2016 Digital download
United Kingdom May 6, 2017 AC radio [13]


  1. ^ a b Scott Russell (June 17, 2016). "Listen to Maggie Rogers' 'Alaska', the Song that Brought Pharrell to Tears - Music - News - Maggie Rogers - Paste". Paste. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Alaska - Single by Maggie Rogers on Apple Music". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "Maggie Rogers - Alaska (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  4. ^ "Masterclass Pharrell Williams Maggie Rogers". YouTube. July 21, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Alex Siber (June 15, 2016). "Daily Discovery: Maggie Rogers Perfects a Dance-Folk Blend With Anticipated Single 'Alaska'". Pigeons and Planes. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Rachel Sonis (October 18, 2016). "Watch Maggie Rogers' Stunning 'Alaska' Video - Idolator". Idolator. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  7. ^ Chris DeVille (June 20, 2016). "Maggie Rogers - 'Alaska' - Stereogum". Stereogum. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  8. ^ "Maggie Rogers - Alaska - YouTube". YouTube. October 18, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  9. ^ " – Maggie Rogers – Alaska" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  10. ^ "Maggie Rogers - Chart history (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  11. ^ "Maggie Rogers - Chart history (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  12. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Maggie Rogers – Alaska". Music Canada. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  13. ^ "BBC - Radio 2 - Playlist". BBC Radio 2. May 6, 2017. Archived from the original on April 24, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017.