In the way that, earlier this year, Olivia Rodrigo perfected vindicated and righteous teenage pain, Maisie Peters has taken the messy heartbreak of your early twenties (where right and wrong change limits at a frightening pace) and served it up as a late summer treat in the form of You Signed Up For This.
Somehow Peters is adept at making all the romantic mess work with her arsenal of one-liner quips, undeniable bops with dreamy synth-filled melodies, and achingly relatable self-doubts.
While the tracks may not necessarily be personal, the earnestness and vulnerability that comes across with Peter's vocals rings true; this London-centric album is bursting with self-awareness. Bouncing between softness and unapologetic rage. It’s when Peters is angry that, sonically, we hear her at her most danceable. “Not Friends (I’m Trying)” is brash and fun - with each snappy line competing for the most witty - and soars with a delicious, forceful beat.
“Boy” is similarly sassy. A tribute to a particular kind of boy, it’s a little bit sexier than previously seen from Peters - and takes no prisoners. With lyrics such as: “She’s tries to get closer / so you go and ghost her / like it's perpetual Halloween”, “If I had a pound for every hole / I saw punched in the wall / I’d be a rich girl” and “I can tell that you’ve never been hugged, boy,” it's the perfect track if you have an ‘emotionally unavailable and very unwilling to work on it’ ex.
Peters has her quieter moments too. “Brooklyn” sonically feels like coming home. Peters injects the fun of single “Psycho” with spoken-word snippets and stories of fake ID’s alongside a touching tribute to her twin sister - “Come on, have you seen those eyes? / It's nothing but the best for her” - and adventures on stolen time that is the grown-up version of “Personal Best" from 2019’s EP It’s Your Bed Babe, It's Your Funeral.
“Elvis Song” is a timelessly romantic standout of the album - “Breakfast on your sofa bed / thinking “oh, god, I’m in over my head” / you’re always on my mind” - featuring a trademark Peters’ catchy chorus. Utilising the minutiae details of a love story, making it both relatable and specific enough that if you’re missing somebody, it will hurt. “Love Him I Don't'' and “Talking To Strangers” are similarly sweet and slow, though at completely different ends of the romantic spectrum, and Peters proves that even when slowing down the pace, she can still deliver memorable earworms.
Really, there’s a hint of nostalgia in every track. It's as if Peters knows that, whilst in the thick of it, she's in her twenties and “probably upset right now”, but one day she’ll be looking back at this time of the highest highs as well as the lowest lows.
Long awaited after several EP’s and a meteoric rise to fame on YouTube, You Signed Up For This is candidly aware of the simple fact that you just don’t have everything right just yet. Combining this with Peters' constantly evolving and sharp song writing, and a braver, more mature sound, the singer-songwriter proves she’s one tough act to follow.