A staple of the teen experience in 2016 was listening to the catchy pop tune and close-to-home lyrics of “Pretty Girl” by Maggie Lindemann — a song that quickly became an anthem for many young women, myself included.
Though the 22-year-old has sporadically released singles in the four years since her break-out song’s release, her heavily anticipated debut EP — two years in the making — premiered Jan. 22.
Lindemann’s “PARANOIA,” an EP that Alternative Press Magazine listed in its 50 Most Anticipated Albums of 2021, is eight tracks long, four of which were released as singles in 2020.
Rather than the indie predecessors to “Pretty Girl” and its pop-y remixes, “PARANOIA” strikes a different chord. Lindemann possesses a new alternative-rock sound more aggressive than the simple pop flair of her 2016 single.
Lindemann, who moved to Los Angeles at 16 to pursue music professionally, said she has only recently found her voice in a way her earlier music did not represent, drawing inspiration from Paramore, Bring Me the Horizon and Gwen Stefani.
Lindemann’s new style feels refreshing and genuine — as if she’s been holding it back for years. The tracks range from a soft and mellow to hardcore and emo, reflecting the variety and commitment for each song to tell a “different story,” according to her Spotify bio.
“Love Songs” — which Lindemann wrote via Twitter was originally just written for her boyfriend — is a stand out and calm break from the album’s high-energy beats. The soft, acoustic ballad hooks the audience in with the sentimental lyrics, “you don’t have to be tough with me/ I’ll protect you from it all… ‘cause when you’re happy I’m home,” which makes for a somewhat sappy-yet-genuine pit stop.
The up-beat yet moody “Loner” and “Crash and Burn” were instant favorites, evoking the nostalgia of being a 12-year-old rocking out to Avril Lavigne in my bedroom.
The track “GASLIGHT!” — which also premiered as an anticipatory single — was slightly too metal and intense than the other tracks, which made listening to it jarring when juxtaposed with the more subdued “Love Songs.” “GASLIGHT!” stuck out as perhaps a nod to a more alternative audience Lindemann was appealing to or an exploration of different sounds.
Overall, the album brings back those nostalgic 2000s feelings, mainly because of the inspiration she drew from her favorite artists during that time period.
While Lindemann’s musical focus may have changed, the authenticity of her lyrics and passion for her craft has not. The album is eclectic, but bold and vibrant, solidifying Lindemman’s position as a star whose career is worth watching.