Review: “Dressed Too Nice for a Jacket”

Released on November 2nd, 2018 “Dressed Too Nice For A Jacket” is Maisie Peters’ debut EP. The EP was published under Atlantic Records UK and features six tracks: In My Head, Details, Enough For You, Architecture, You to You, and Feels Like This.

The first song from this EP is In My Head, a very candid and honest pop song. In an interview with Shock Radio, Peters describes that “the whole song is about putting on a front and trying to seem better than you are.” Her goal with the song was to spread the message that sometimes you don’t always feel like how you look. As with many other songs on the EP, this one takes listeners through a journey of heartbreak: the kind where you’re left to deal with it on your own, and one that is not felt in return. This song is will tug at your heart strings with lyrics like “ this dress' too nice for a jacket, so I'm freezing / You’re walking past and on habit, I lean in / Close to your touch ‘cause I still think we’re an us.” Therefore coining the name for the EP: Dressed Too Nice For A Jacket.

The second song is Details. Peters revealed in an Instagram Live that this was actually her favorite song from the EP. This song is a mixture of folk-pop, similar to many of her older songs. She says that one of her favorite lyrics in this song is “So I'll ignore her and she'll be really nice to me / Yeah, I know I'm being bitter and jealous and mean,” because “you wish you weren’t [bitter] but humans are humans...” Also, she loves this part of the song because “the cracks in the vocal take reminded [her] of Joni Mitchell…” which is one of her favorite artists so she made sure they kept that part in. Usually when writing songs Peters will freestyle, however with the lyrics “Look, I don't think I want you to myself / But I know I don't want you with anybody else / Don't think you want to hear that either” she knew exactly what she wanted to say. She felt that this was something that she and her friends related to and she admitted that while the wording does sound a little odd, she really wanted to make it work.

The third song in the EP is Enough For You. Peters says that she thinks this song is cool because you can interpret it however you like, but if you know the context then it is actually quite funny. On the surface this song seems like it’s about not being enough for a lover and becoming conflicted with yourself. Peters wrote this song with Joe Rubel and she says the actual story behind this song is, “Joe told me a story about his driving instructor Derek… [who] told Joe about how another one of his pupils, a mother and wife...had confessed her love to him in the car one lesson.” After hearing this Peters and Rubel decided to write a song from the point of the woman who confessed her love to her driving instructor. Throughout the song you can pick up some of the hints, “It was perfect as long as it wasn’t long / But it was worth it to know how the films all feel.” Sometimes things seem perfect in our head without all the complications of real life, like for this woman who was married and had kids. Of course in reality she knew it was not practical to just run off with her driving instructor.

The fourth track is called Architecture. This song is about meeting someone that helps you become a better person and realize your worth, but also dealing with them leaving and having to accept that. Although, on Instagram Peters says, “It’s taken upon a new meaning in my life since writing it a year ago and now to me reflects all my friends moving to [university] this autumn [and] the bittersweet feeling left over.” I thought it was really clever when she sings, “You were borrowed, now I’m blue,” which is a reference to a wedding tradition. “Something borrowed” symbolizes borrowed happiness and while “something blue” is supposed to represent love, Peters puts a spin on the word and uses it to express her sadness.

The fifth song You to You, is the EP’s most upbeat and pop song. It captures the feeling of freedom after a bad breakup and the moment of realizing that the person you thought was “the one,” is really not. Lyrics in the song like “So I hope that you find someone that you trust / And you give all your darkest secrets up / And then I hope she breaks your heart in two” shows that Peters wants an ex-lover to experience what she went through so he can realize how much he hurt her.

The last song is Feels Like This, a piano ballad love song about how the subject makes her feel. The first lines are “Who cares ‘bout star signs? / I’m hardwired to be with you.” Peters says that “I’m a gemini and we’re apparently inconsistent, superficial, and indecisive which explains a lot.” Despite how star signs try to predict how compatible people are, Peters feels like she belongs with this person. Feels Like This is a light-hearted and innocent song that’s really fitting as the last song on the EP. I think it’s a perfect end, like the rainbow after a storm of emotions.

Overall, Dressed Too Nice For A Jacket is an amazing debut EP from Maisie Peters that I definitely recommend you giving a listen to.

Julie Huynh

Julie Huynh is a Malden High sophomore and an excited returning reporter to the Blue and Gold staff. Outside of the classroom, Huynh is also an active participant in the school’s Feminism and Key Club. She enjoys watching crime shows such as Criminal Minds and NCIS, as well as watching sitcoms like Michael Schur’s Parks and Rec and The Good Place. Huynh takes pleasure in covering Malden High events because it allows her to get to know a wide range of people around the school as well as keeping up with the many events MHS offers. Originally joining the class with an interest in developing her graphic art and design skills, she has learned to enjoy the writing portion of the class and is happy to get back at it this year.

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