A Conversation With Swedish Indie Rock Sensation Linn Koch-Emmery

Just before her headline set at The Social back in March, we managed to have a chat with Swedish indie rock sensation Linn Koch-Emmery about her new album Borderline Iconic and more

Ahead of her headline show at The Social, I spent a week immersed in Linn Koch-Emmery’s album Borderline Iconic released via Boys tears. Throughout my listening sessions, my sister (and neighbours) were repeatedly subjected to my enthusiastic outbursts of, “this is insane”, and “yo, this is so good”. The album is a captivating journey from start to finish, seamlessly blending indie rock with a fresh, innovative sound. It’s refreshing to see an artist breathe new life into the genre while staying true to its roots.

On the day of her headline gig, we found a quiet spot in a fancy central London pub to have a conversation about her upbringing, music and stunning new album. As we settled in, she offered a glimpse into her early years growing up in Norrköping, Sweden, “Norrköping is quite a small town. It’s an old industrial town basically. None of my family is really, like in music. So I kind of just sort of came up with the idea of starting a band when I was like 12, and that’s how it all started.”

From that point onward, Koch-Emmery embarked on a journey of self-discovery, teaching herself how to play the guitar and honing her songwriting skills through sheer determination and dedication. “I was listening to a lot of bands, like old rock bands, I was really into 60’s and 90’s music. And got really, I guess inspired and figured I might as well do that myself. That was how it basically started.” She reveals that some of her favourite bands include Oasis, Pixies, and a significant influence of grunge music. Upon listening to her latest album, it becomes evident how these bands have shaped her sound, as elements of their styles can heard throughout her music.

Born to an Austrian father and a Swedish mother who both held regular jobs, most of Koch-Emmery’s music suggestions came from her cousin. We then moved on to discuss the album’s title, Borderline Iconic. The title was conceived during a studio session with the project’s producer, Peter Robertson of The Vaccines. Written in Stockholm and recorded in Pete’s attic, the album took a year and a half to complete reflecting their dedication and collaborative effort.

“All my songs are really about me”, she continues, “lyrics wise, I think the subjects are more centred around maybe the love to music, and maybe my mental health.” She then shared that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at a young age and has been on antidepressants since she was 18. This moment of vulnerability created an immediate emotional connection between us, and I could tell that everyone else in the room felt similarly moved.

We then discussed her expectations for the album. For Koch-Emmery, the primary goal is for her music to connect with people. If her songs touch and resonate with listeners, she feels she has accomplished mission. “I just hope the album reaches the right people, and the right audience”.

“I do have a lot of love and hate relationship with TikTok”, she touches on the pressures of promoting her music on social media. “In an ideal world, I would love to just do my music and not be relying on social media and creating content.” Her sentiments resonate with many artists around the world. As our conversation drew to a close, I could hear the passion in Koch-Emmery’s voice—she is an artist who genuinely cares about her music. She isn’t in it for the fame or clout; she’s here to be iconic. She’s a superhero to any young girl dreaming of picking up a guitar and making loud, impactful music.

Stream Borderline Iconic below:

Connect with Linn Koch-Emmery

Photo Credit: Jonas Carmhagen

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