Maisie Peters The Good Witch

Maisie Peters Tells a Coming-of-Age Tale on ‘The Good Witch’

Maisie Peters knows the power of being the one who has it, of being the one who controls the narrative, as she shows on her new album, The Good Witch.

The Good Witch
Maisie Peters
Gingerbread Man / Asylum
23 June 2023

It’s only been five years since Maisie Peters started making the rounds on indie playlists on Spotify with her debut EP Dressed Too Nice for a Jacket, which quickly generated a passionate fan following. With the songwriting prowess of Taylor Swift and the generational pulse of Alessia Cara, Peters gained momentum for her unique ability to speak directly to her generation in ways few other artists can accomplish. Indeed, aside from perhaps Olivia Rodrigo, few female musicians from Generation Z have crafted lyrics as compelling and relatable as the opening lines to Peters’ 2021 debut LP: “I am 20 and probably upset right now.”

Barely two years later, Peters has returned with her sophomore record, The Good Witch, which the artist has described as the best way she could have preserved this period in her life and career. The title is derived from Greek mythology from female perspectives. There are several instances in The Good Witch‘s track listing where the singer could have been an angry woman scorned, but instead, she knows the power of being the one who has it, of being the one who controls the narrative.

That power was evident immediately with the record’s second single, “Lost the Breakup”, one of the year’s best pop songs. “I know I’m obsessin’ / Right now I might be a mess,” she acknowledges during the chorus. “But one day you’re gonna wake up / And oh shit, you lost the breakup.” The idea that one party of a relationship can claim victory over its end is what drives Peters’ stage presence and chutzpah during this album cycle, that there’s no sense in being sad and lovelorn when you’re the one who can reclaim their coming-of-age by writing it all into an album.

But The Good Witch isn’t just a breakup album with attitude and vigor. It’s a continuing saga of what it means to be a 20-something female musician in an era where people come of age on social media, which can be toxic and empowering at once. Indeed, it would be more suitable to classify Peters’ sophomore LP as a post-third-wave feminist record, where young women can embrace their ennui unironically. This is displayed best on tracks like “You’re Just a Boy (And I’m Kinda the Man)” and “Wendy”, where Peters concludes on the latter that young men are expected to be lost boys, and young girls are expected to be Wendy. The sooner women learn they don’t have to mother their male partners, the better.

In fact, Peters is kind of “the man” for all intents and purposes since these are her stories, and she gets to decide how to tell them. She’s strong enough to know when she needs to go back to therapy or that while she can’t necessarily rewrite the history of man, she can control her space within it. “There’s not a lot of anger, hate, or malice in it,” Peters said of her new album in a recent interview. “In a way, that’s what being a writer is. It’s about being the good witch and deciding to use your power for good, not evil.” It’s like the old saying goes: don’t get on a writer’s bad side, for their revenge could become immortal.

RATING 8 / 10