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EP Review: Maggie Lindemann's "HEADSPLIT"



"Find who you'd die for, that's who you live for."


If that lyric doesn't reflect the content of this EP, nothing else will. To mark the beginning of a new era, Maggie Lindemann has released her second EP, "HEADSPLIT", though this is her third body of work. This marks the end of "SUCKERPUNCH" and now we're onto something new. It's electric, intense, darkly romantic, and quite obviously the moving on from some of the angst delivered in "SUCKERPUNCH". The EP talks deeply about being in love, and Lindemann stated in her recent interview on the Zach Sang Show that most of it is about her current partner and what that relationship feels like to her. This, in context with the song die for, makes the message of the EP a little sweeter. The idea of being headsplit refers to the feeling of your mind being in several different places at once. The bear trap on the EP cover is a reference to her favorite horror movie franchise, "Saw". It's a wonderful concept and the EP perfectly reflects it.


One thing I've enjoyed about "HEADSPLIT" thus far is how Maggie can keep her signature sound, though it is a little more experimental, and still be able to write such vulnerable and beautiful lyrics. This EP was her first time writing fully by herself as she's stated a few different times, also on the Zach Sang Show. The songs still have her signature heaviness just with a little more electronic content. Lindemann has always been very purposeful with the visuals behind her work, and this EP is no different. From music videos, visualizers, and photoshoots, she makes sure that the listeners are engulfed in her world. If you know or have seen anything about Maggie Lindemann, it's not hard to tell that her vibe is very punk. She's not always going to write your typical love song that feels soft and often weak. She's moved from tracks like Love Songs on her first EP, "PARANOIA", to ones that are able to convey deep love differently.



Track One: rip my heart out

In rip my heart out, she says, "Parts of you that have been broken / Bottle up all your emotions / Foreign feelings, wounds are healing / With new eyes to see a light that guided me / Rip out my heart to give you life." I admire her songwriting very deeply, and it's impressive considering this was her first time without another writer to round out the rough edges. Ripping out one's heart to give their partner life is a very beautiful way to express the lengths she would go to. The track opens on a softer note which certainly sets the tone for the content of the album, but about 45 seconds in, you're introduced back into her world of heavy guitars and smaller electronic moments. It's an emotional and heartfelt track about the sacrifices she'd be willing to make for her partner.


Track Two: die for

die for has the same notion of sacrificing yourself for someone else. Lindemann sings, "Hold my breath so that you can breathe / I'll give you the air inside me." She has a way of putting things that makes them feel authentic, whereas some artists would only say those things to simply fit the genre. People have constantly called her a poser for her style, her music, and pretty much just everything about her, but it's evident through songs like this that every part of herself that she displays is truly who she is. "Find who you'd die for / That's who you live for." That lyric is probably my favorite from the whole EP. Being truly in love is finding the person you'd sacrifice yourself for. This is certainly a standout track lyrically, though melodically I don't think it's incredibly unique. That doesn't mean I love it any less!


Track Three: deprecating

Lindemann and Siiickbrain have done collaborations on every single of one her works, and this one is no different. I will say, deprecating is my least favorite of the songs they've done together, including the ones for Siiickbrain's albums. It seems to have much more of her vocals rather than Maggie's and it sort of overpowers it, especially since this is Maggie's song. She did specify that this song was more about Siiickbrain's experiences rather than her own, which is fine, but further makes me think that this should've either stayed as a single or been Siiickbrain's song instead. Overall just not my favorite. I do love the part where Maggie sings "Talking like you're dignified / Words that cut like jagged knives / Rip my heart, I twist my mind / Killed a soul, a homicide." Her vocals are exquisite and that one bridge is the standout part of that song. deprecating definitely sits towards the bottom of my rankings for this EP.


Track Four: you hold my love

The way that you hold my love begins is a complete vibe switch from deprecating, it's more along the lines of rip my heart out. Even if you don't necessarily enjoy her genre of music, it's hard to deny that her voice is incredibly unique and angelic. I've heard her live twice and can confirm that she doesn't need autotune to sound how she does. In the beginning, the track doesn't have a lot background music which allows her voice to shine. The way she delivers the title gave me goosebumps, and listening to it with headphones magnified the transcendence of it. I wish that I could have that playing on a loop in my head at all times. A little over a minute in, the track breaks from this bit of vocal isolation (it's not completely isolated but nothing is distracting from her voice if that makes) and powers into a more electronic bit. The song could do without that part. I would've loved to hear the beginning part, but three or four minutes long. It reminds me of My Immortal by Evanescence which makes sense because Lindemann has stated on many occasions how influential they are to her. It's the strongest vocally on the album. 



Track Five: one last time

"Don't let the moments pass you / The reaper's knocking, say your goodbyes." In one last time, Maggie addresses the feeling that time is running out. As we grow older, memories start to slip from our minds and each minute brings us closer to eventual death. To me, this track and the next one, 24, go hand in hand. They both address feeling lost and that even though you're still so young, the time is going by too fast. This is one of the strongest on the album production-wise, the vocal manipulation is perfect and the intensity of the track is incredible. 


Track Six: 24

Lindemann and Alexis Munroe teamed up for 24, a track about feeling lost in your 20s and how people look at you differently based on your age. In my opinion, this is absolutely the strongest song on the album and stands as my favorite. The guitar riff that plays throughout the song creates such a perfect atmosphere for the lyrical content, "They all condemn your agin' / Another year invadin' / At sixteen, a perfect angel / Then thirty, you're turnin' fatal." There aren't many songs I've heard addressing this topic, and it's about to become relevant in my own life as I turn 20 next month. Not to get sappy, but Maggie's music and lyricism have made me feel more understood than I ever have before, and that goes for her whole discography. Young girls and women have a lot of pressure put on them by society, and those standards are incredibly oppressive. "I've been searchin' for / Life worth somethin' / More, I'm holdin' on / Lights are dim, but they're not gone / Oh, I'm lost at twenty-four." We're all on our own quests, all in search of meaning for our lives. Maggie speaks about these things that I don't hear other people talking about. Alexis Munroe's part is nice, though I don't think it added a lot to the song since it was so short, her style and voice are pretty similar to Maggie's. 24 holds a special place in my heart and I know it's a track I'll be frequenting this year. 


Track Seven: hostage

If there was a little bit of Evanescene influence in you hold my love, hostage has A LOT. The first time I heard this song, that was my first thought. It immediately opens with some delayed guitar that makes it feel like it could've been a track on Evanescence's "Fallen". The drums in the beginning are so crisp and make Maggie's vocals feel sort of atmospheric. She has always been pretty open about her tendency to overthink, and this song addresses that issue in such a poetic way. "These thoughts fill my mind / Bring me down one more time / In my head and it drives me crazy / I'm hostage, baby." While the song doesn't specifically say it, I think it has everything to do with trust. She has found someone who can coax her out of a toxic headspace, and that's real love. I'm so happy that she was able to find the person to be that for her. Hostage is a wonderful, hard-hitting track that artfully speaks to the pain of overthinking. 


Track Eight: taking over me

Last but certainly not least is Lindemann's collaboration with Jasiah, taking over me. The song is packed with energy and a perfect blend of heaviness and electronic breaks. Maggie has never had a feature contribute a rap verse, so it was an interesting sound that I hadn't expected because I wasn't familiar with Jasiah's music before. I've heard some people say that they didn't like it, but I found it rather refreshing and new for her. Not only that, but Jasiah was what made the track so high-energy. I love this song and the production definitely deserves a shoutout. It's such a badass way to close the EP, and I think she really understood the final push that this project needed, one last burst of energy. The song itself addresses how debilitating anxiety can be, saying "I feel it deep inside / Rushin' through my veins / And I can’t hide what I wanna say." Her vulnerability with this EP has been so wonderful to get to experience, and I love how depressing the lyrics are in contrast with the way the song makes me feel. It's sort of like Bring Me The Horizon's Darkside, I always sing the lyrics and have a good time and then stop once I remember what he's actually saying. Either way, this was a wonderful way to close "HEADSPLIT". 






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