Linn Koch-Emmery: Borderline Iconic (Boys Tears) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, June 25th, 2024  

Linn Koch-Emmery

Borderline Iconic

Boys Tears

May 23, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Singer/songwriter Linn Koch-Emmery returns with Borderline Iconic, the much-anticipated follow-up to her Swedish Grammy-nominated debut album Being the Girl. In this sophomore effort, Emmery unveils her most intimate work yet—a collection of soaring, passionate tunes that traverse the contemplative, the wistful, and the euphoric. Teaming up with producer Peter Robertson (The Vaccines), Emmery’s songwriting delves deeper this time around, reflecting on her diagnosis of bipolar disorder at age 18 (later redefined as ADHD) and the ensuing journey of lifelong medication.

The album opens with the unsettling and raw “A Room Where I Can Scream,” a brief but impactful burst of distorted static that serves as a sonic metaphor for the emotional turbulence woven throughout the album.

Previous singles “Ebay Armour” and “Happy” highlight Emmery’s talent for blending glorious melodies with introspective, poignant lyrics. The former tackles the coping mechanisms of trauma and grief, envisioning mental armor as a form of protection. Meanwhile, “Happy” explores the futile act of fanning the flames of hope amidst the dying embers of a doomed relationship. Throughout the album, Emmery deftly navigates the line between fragility and resilience, hope and despair, crafting melodies that ache with bittersweet melancholy yet soar with defiance and hope.

The album’s title track, is a massive indie anthem—a euphoric, fist-in-the-air moment that sidesteps the clichéd, nostalgia-soaked drivel that so often plagues modern indie music. There’s no hint of cynicism here; these songs aren’t crafted for slow-mo sports montages or formulaic playlists. Instead, they emerge from a place of genuine emotional connection, reflecting lived experiences rather than manufactured sentiments. The beautiful closing track, “Why Do You Think I’m Here,” is a prime example—a personal and profoundly moving piece that radiates honesty and vulnerability.

Despite the heavy subject matter, Borderline Iconic brims with vitality. Tracks like “Colombian Embassy” and “These Days” sound almost jaunty, while “No Hands” boasts an irresistible glam-rock stomp and swagger, enhanced by Robertson’s intuitive production, which adds just the right mix of sheen and polish. This album demonstrates Emmery’s growth as an artist, her willingness to tackle subjects that aren’t always comfortable, and her ability to connect with listeners on a deeply personal level. Iconic, without a doubt. (www.facebook.com/linnkochemmery)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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