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press conference

WORDS by Tessa Swantek  TALENTMaggieLindemann  PR°1824 


“Intro/ Welcome In” on Maggie Lindemann’s debut album, SUCKERPUNCH, ushers listeners in as if being led through a cathedral pointed arched door to a hazy green enchanted forest as a piano twinkles like golden light’s on a black beaded chandelier hanging from a thin tree limb. As you get deeper into the forest, breathy whispers travel on the wind from far away crevices, and the branches then begin to twist and darken as the heavy thumping of drums and bass shake the forest and the chandelier’s lights begin to strobe. There is an Evanescence essence to the album’s introduction, in the way that “Bring Me to Life” does- its allure is hauntingly sweet. This allure is present throughout the album- it is magnetic and pulls you in one minute, so close that the sound is in your throat, and then pushes you away as the sound disappears into the green haze.

Musically, SUCKERPUNCH takes up a lot of space- Lindemann plays with the way sound moves and interacts. The album is primarily driven forward by her vocals, bass guitars, acoustic/electric guitars, and a drum set as Lindemann leads you through the enchanted forest from the door that “Intro/ Welcome In” presents to the freedom that “Cages” allows. Lindemann talks the winding path SUCKERPUNCH takes you on as we talked to her on the day of her album release as she zoomed from her childhood home in Texas. When asked about the order of the tracks, she said, “The ‘Intro’ and ‘Take Me Nowhere’ have to be listened to together. I wanted it to feel like a progression from being upset and angry to being sad then happy then going through a bad relationship, then it gets more and more about you taking back the power ending with ‘Cages’ which is about bringing you hope.”

This evolution in the album defines Lindemann as an artist as well. The narrative surrounding Maggie Lindemann is often one about evolution, but one that favors internal changes rather than external changes. In that sense, her change in sound from “Pretty Girl” to now is commonly attributed to a change in personality, as if she is just in a new transitory “phase,” however as Lindemann says, “A lot of people don’t realize that I’m the same person that I was, I just had this mask up. I was still listening to all the same stuff I listen to now I was just presenting myself in a different way.” Now that Lindemann is signed to a distribution rather than a label, swixxzaudio, she is now in an environment where she has full creative control, allowing her to personally lead us through the enchanted forest that is SUCKERPUNCH. When asked about her creative control she says, “With the music videos, I find those directors and we work on them together. We are able to create what I have in my head freely. Everything I do is very ‘me.’ I don’t have to get my songs or outfits approved.” Evolution happens with new adaptations to environmental changes, and now that Lindemann has free range, she is presenting the most true version of herself.

The musical environment of each track also presents a unique image. “take me nowhere” lives within chaos- with a drum beat like a racing heartbeat, vocals that compete with and occasionally drown in the music, and lyrics that express deep internal conflict. The environment of this track is thick and almost claustrophobic, like a dense enchanted forest turning twisted and wicked. Lindemann says of the album, “When I listen to it, I see a lot of chaos so I hear it in a movie- like an action movie." “casualty of your dreams,” my favorite track off the album, sounds the most like a suckerpunch- it places its power in all the right places. Her vocals punch at lyrics like “there's no need for apologies/ 'Cause honestly, f_ your honesty, I'm done/ Think you like the insanity/ I'm the casualty of your dreams” and pull back quickly at lyrics like “Guess you didn't mean it, but I'd still repeat it/ If I could hold on to the feeling/ Back when all your words still had their meaning” as if she is taking away their power and gaining her own. There is a musical undertone to the track that sounds nostalgic and charming. In the track, she is gaining power and fighting for herself, but she’s still in a vulnerable state as she sings, “Green flags, turned red, from all my bleeding/ I fell quickly for words, misleading/ Don't come crawling back with your healing/ 'Cause I'm not strong enough to fight the feeling.”

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When choosing which track is most reflective of this era of her music, Lindemann chooses “self sabotage” as she says the song was, “actually one of the songs that was pretty easy to write. We went in and finished it pretty quick. The production changed quite a bit. I was doing a lot of self sabotage at the time and was talking to my friend and realized it was a relatable topic. It was one of the longest productions but we did that and it was just perfect.  I really like that it has that breakdown and the glitches- I’m obsessed with glitches I want to do more stuff with that.” “break me!” with Siiickbrain holds a similar production quality with screaming and glitches throughout. In the music video directed by Siiickbrain, ivy climbs up her body to strangle her, evoking a visual of trying to escape but being pulled back into the enchanted forest. This feeling of being held hostage, either by someone she’s in a relationship with or herself, presents itself throughout the album in music that sounds like a wide battlefield.

Towards the end of the album she seems to be breaking out of the ivy shackles. In “you’re not special” she sings “You think you're special to me/ You think you can get under my skin/ You stick your knife right through me/ So dull that I don't feel a thing,” signaling that another person doesn’t have power over her anymore. The crawling ivy and strangling tree limbs no longer hold their power as she makes her way out of the forest.  In “hear me out,” the track that she says is most personal to her, her voice is raw as she screams “Why can't nobody ever hear me out?” There is a far-away sound to the track though like she can’t be heard no matter how she screams. I think of the question, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Her voice is isolated, almost like it exists in a vacuum. Escaping someone else's control, though, doesn't set you free, and in “how could you do this to me,” she shows that freedom means taking control as she sings: Now I've cut off all the breaks / You best believe that I'm your worst mistake / But you always make it, but you always make it / And you keep on crawling back / You're in too deep 'cause your heart's attached / You know that this won't last / You know I like to take control  / So I'll be leaving you out here to bleed / Drag you down with me / You'll never get away from me / Feel me wrap around you until you scream / How could you do this to me?

Now she’s the ivy that wraps around throats and keeps pulling back. The track is in collaboration with Kellin Quinn of Sleeping with Sirens, which Lindemann says “has been one of my favorite bands since I was in middle school so to be able to work with him was unreal. He’s really nice and talented- it was just a really easy collaboration. He killed the vocals and I was really happy he screamed on the track. I didn’t want to ask him but I was like please please scream!” The album’s closing track, “cages,” brings hope as Lindemann says as she takes her “one way ticket” out of the forest. While the track is deeply meaningful as the closing track, the video to support it is light and fresh. Lindemann says, “I just like to give things visuals, and with ‘cages,’ we did a music video- we wanted it to have a fun video where it feels super young and fresh with Avril Lavigne vibes. I want you to be able to watch the videos and have fun with it and see it in a new light. A lot of times the music videos won’t have a deep meaning, they're just fun.” Compared to “break me!” with siiickbrain, she continues, “for that song, we wanted a spider web and to be entangled- which had a deep meaning, but ‘cages’ just has a fun meaning.”

Maggie Lindemann is best without restriction, and she lets all of her unbridled emotion into her music. When asked what she hopes people take away from SUCKERPUNCH, she says, “I hope people can see the evolution and can hear the growth in my writing and production. Music is my therapy and I want people to relate and feel like they have someone who understands them. If they are having a good or bad day I want them to have that song on the album and not worry about anything else.”

Listen to SUCKERPUNCH here
Follow Maggie on
Instagram here

Twitter here 
Youtube here
Maggie Lindemann’s Official Site
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