Maggie Lindemann takes control with new album, ‘SUCKERPUNCH’

photos by Jaxxon Whittington

If Avril Lavigne and Nessa Barrett had a baby, it would be Maggie Lindemann. With nearly 6 million fans on Instagram alone, the alternative rock love child was born to be a star.

Like a siren, Lindemann allures audiences with her sharp vocals and seductive style. While Lindemann has attributes you’d expect to see on any rock artist, such as an array of tattoos and piercings, she also stands out with her own edgy, yet glamorous, flair. With straight black hair that falls to her waist, long acrylic nails, signature silver hoops and a full glam face fit with overlined lips, a pair of falsies and jet-black eyeliner, you might mistake her for a pop-punk Bratz doll. Just a few days ago, the 24-year-old described herself as an “angel in devil’s clothing” on Twitter, and nothing could be more accurate. Don’t let her Taylor Momsen-like goth fashion fool you. Behind lace-up boots, ripped tights and chunky jewelry, is not an intimidating celebrity, but rather a vulnerable artist hoping to make relatable music.

The singer-songwriter made a name for herself in the music industry with her 2016 pop hit “Pretty Girl,” which has since racked up more than 88 million streams on Spotify while its 2017 viral remix hit over 840 million. But Lindemann isn’t just a pretty girl with a nice voice. She’s a rising idol in her own right as she breaks out of prepackaged pop and into 2010s-inspired pop-punk.

“I’m the same person, I just had my mask up,” Lindemann says about her “Pretty Girl” era self.

Now, Lindemann’s mask is down and it’s never coming back up. Her new sound is a mix of speedy tempos, power chord changes and loud guitars behind vulnerable, yet catchy, shouted lyrics. But it wasn’t always that way. Initially, Lindemann felt trapped in the bubblegum-pop genre. While her pop music climbed charts, it wasn’t authentic. So, Lindemann dropped her label to launch her own, swixxzaudio. This allowed her to stop pushing out pop singles and start releasing punk music.

“I have full creative control now,” she says. “I’m signed to a distribution, not a label, which just means that I’m basically my own boss. I’m able to do really anything I want ... We’re able to create whatever I have in my head freely without other people getting involved. Everything is very me.”

Since receiving support, not approval, for her work, Lindemann has only grown as an artist. In 2021, she emerged with an edgier sound with the release of her debut EP, “PARANOIA.” She’s worked with artists like Travis Barker, Kellin Quinn and Siiickbrain, as well I’m as opened for Sabrina Carpenter and Madison Beer on their respective tours. On Sept. 16, Lindemann released her most authentic project yet — her debut album, “SUCKERPUNCH.”

“I hope people can see my evolution and hear my growth,” she says.

“SUCKERPUNCH” is like a punch in the face — it’s unexpected, powerful and lingers. Its 15 tracks convey sincere honesty against gritty undertones. While the album’s infectious melodies, pulsating electronics and chromatic riffing is like ear candy, the emotional weight of Lindemann’s lyricism is what steals the show. She gives listeners a peek into her utmost inner thoughts, sharing her insecurities, heartbreak and desires, from working in the music industry to catching feelings for someone who is already taken. Lindemann’s favorite and most self-aware track, “self sabotage,” acknowledges her habit of pushing people away. Meanwhile, tracks like “phases” and “break me!” speak to complicated relationships over heavy guitar and glitches.

“Writing ‘SUCKERPUNCH’ I really tapped into that [wordplay],” Lindemann says. “I let myself be more free to say the things I wanted to and freely create instead of trying to figure it out.”

Growing up, Lindemann listened to artists like Melanie Martinez, Amy Lee, Gwen Stefani, Hayley Williams and Britney Spears. These influences are clear in Lindemann’s musical metamorphosis to modernize nostalgic punk. In her journey to self-actualization, Lindemann took control of her career and isn’t letting go.

“Don’t be scared to say no to people,” she advises aspiring artists. “Don’t be scared to do the things you want to do. Stop listening to what everyone else wants you to do.”