Pop princess turned alternative artist continues strongly in the genre

Maggie Lindemann releases new EP “HEADSPLIT”
Graphic for the album review of Maggie Lindemanns HEADSPLIT. The graphic contains her album cover, that is inspired by the re-worked bear trap head piece from the torture-horror movie franchise, Saw.
Graphic for the album review of Maggie Lindemann’s “HEADSPLIT”. The graphic contains her album cover, that is inspired by the re-worked bear trap head piece from the torture-horror movie franchise, “Saw.”
Mackenzie Jardine

Maggie Lindemann released her newest EP “HEADSPLIT” on March 8; while it’s one of Lindemann’s best lyrically, it falls short in comparison to her previous jumps into rock.

Lindemann started in pop music in 2015 and gained popularity with her pop single “Pretty Girl” in late 2016. The song began to show in varying positions on pop charts around the globe, hitting the 50th spot in the U.S. top 100 charts.

Lindemann moved into a rock-based sound starting in 2019 with her single “Friends Go.” The single was originally pop, but then had a remix that featured pop punk drummer Travis Barker of Blink-182, which began her journey into the genre.

Alternative culture and music magazine Alternative Press credited her for “keeping emo alive” with the release of her first EP, “PARANOIA” on Jan. 22, 2021, under her record label Swixxzaudio.

Her debut album, “SUCKERPUNCH,” released on Sept. 16, 2022, went even harder with its guitar-heavy melodies, aggressive drums, powerful vocals and a collaboration with her long-time friend Siickbrain, as well as one with Kellin Quinn from Sleeping With Sirens.

“HEADSPLIT” has eight songs with a runtime of 22 minutes — fully written by Lindemann and produced by No Love For The Middle Child, Zach Jones and Josh Murty. The album contains three collaborations including Lindemann’s fourth (so far) with Siickbrain, as well as tracks with Alexis Munroe and Jasiah. The EP is metal and hardcore punk-inspired with mixes of alternative electronic sounds.

This EP has Lindemann come into her own as a writer and overall artist which cements her constant growth in the genre, but in terms of sound, it isn’t as exciting as “SUCKERPUNCH.”

“SUCKERPUNCH” was an angrier album with Lindemann exploring her break up with her ex-boyfriend, Brandon Arreaga of the boy band PrettyMuch. While Lindemann said in an Instagram story that they didn’t have a falling out, the album makes that statement sound a bit different.

The angrier lyrics and sounds to match made for a heavier hitting album that coincide better with what her place in the genre should be. “HEADSPLIT” is softer, with slower vibes within the melodies and a far tamer production. The lyrical content relates to being more in love, thanks to her current boyfriend, NBA player Jordan Clarkson.

The production matches the softer themes explored, making it a far less thrilling entry to her great discography.

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Song list and reviews:

Track 1: “rip my heart out

This song leads the EP off with piano and a slow melody. The song describes how love can affect a person so deeply. Lindemann is saying that she would do anything for this person she’s in love with and has been “waiting a lifetime” to find a person like them. She credited her inspirations behind the current EP to Clarkson on X. This song is no doubt about him. It’s a sweet song, but not the best on the album.

Rating: 3/5

 

Track 2: “die for

This song is also about love and finding the person “who you’d die for, that’s who you’d live for” and how their love is meant to last their entire lives. This song is slower, but picks up thanks to her usual high-ranged vocals and double-bass heavy drums towards the end of the song. The lyrics are insanely strong, and mixed with her emotional vocals make this one of the best of the EP.

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Track 3: “deprecating” featuring Siickbrain

Lindemann has collaborated with Siickbrain many times in the past with the songs “Dopamine” from Siickbrain’s album, “Ashtray for Your Agony”, “GASLIGHT!” from Lindemann’s first EP, “PARANOIA” and “break me!” from Lindemann’s “SUCKERPUNCH.”

The first single off of the EP, “deprecating,” has to be their worst collaboration. It’s not a bad song but compared to their previous ones, especially the fantastic “break me!”, this feels bland amongst their stream of work.

Siickbrain offers a great opening verse and adds her iconic screaming throughout the song, but the production feels flat. Siickbrain takes over the track, earning the chorus, but Lindemann backs her up beautifully with her own verse. There needed to be more Lindemann and vocal blending, Siickbrain always seems to dominate tracks they work on together, which is a massive mistake because it overshadows Lindemann’s vocal prowess and versatility.

Rating: 2/5

 

Track 4: “you hold my love

Lindemann shows off her vocal runs on this track backed by more electronic sounds. This song once again is about love, but the theme is not tiresome. The track seamlessly transitions from “deprecating” but gives a whole new element, with violin and more vocal layering and instrumentation running throughout. The production is easily the best out of the whole EP and a great middle point.

Rating: 4/5

 

Track 5: “one last time

Another love song, but with a darker tone and stronger rock drums. This song contains lyrics about losing oneself because of concerns of a breakup and how the relationship is heading towards catastrophe, but she hopes they can hold each other “one last time” before the “reaper” comes. It is soaked in paranoia of losing the one you love.

Its production is good with a reverbed lead and distorted rhythm guitar layered throughout the verses making it an interesting listen. It allows for the metal and hardcore punk inspiration to shine through. Lindemann hits her higher range of head voice, which is a fantastic plus.

Rating: 3/5

 

Track 6: “24” featuring Alexis Munroe

Amazing guitar compositions possess this track. The lyrics are highly relatable for those afraid of aging and how women are treated as they age. Lindemann is 25, but talks about how she felt lost at 24 and isn’t sure where to move next in her life, especially as there’s so much pressure in your early to mid 20s to have purpose and follow it to its fullest. It can be a scary time if you feel stuck or unsure because society tells you that you should have everything together by this age.

Alexis Munroe’s contribution seems non-existent in this track upon first listen because Lindemann and Munroe have insanely similar vocal styles. Munroe takes the second verse with a higher and softer voice than Lindemann; their harmonies are impressively seamless and another collaboration is a must.

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Track 7: “hostage

This song was the second single off of the EP and easily the best song on the album. It has quickly gained popularity on Spotify with currently over 2 million streams since its release on Jan. 19.

The lyrics are perfectly haunting and the production is gritty. It contains interesting sounds like a random squeaking, that just make sense for the dark and grungy sound. This perfectly fits the angle for the album and matches the vibe of the “Saw” (a torture-horror movie franchise) inspired album cover and overall marketing roll out, including an excellent horror themed music video for this track.

Rating: 5/5

 

Track 8: “taking over me” featuring Jasiah

Lindemann is vocally powerful in this song and at the top of her game. Jasiah adds a lot to the production with his metal screams and rap-like verse. While this isn’t the best song on the album, it contains elements that far surpass other ones; it’s an aggressive and upbeat song and more of what the EP should have sounded like.

Rating: 4/5

 

This EP is a strong collection from Lindemann, but is simply not as good, specifically production-wise, as her previous works “PARANOIA” or “SUCKERPUNCH.”

Overall EP Rating: 3.5/5

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Mackenzie Jardine, Editor-In-Chief
Hi! My name is Mackenzie Jardine, and I am really excited to connect with people through journalism. I'm very excited to be La Voz's Editor-In-Chief this winter quarter! It's an honor to be in charge of this quarter's paper and work with the incredible, hard working and talented staff. Thank you for supporting La Voz!

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