Maggie Lindemann grew up watching horror films from a young age. Even though the 22-year-old singer is less afraid now of the things she was as a child, she knows “there’s just some fears you can’t erase.” As the lyrics of her latest single, Knife Under my Pillow, attest, Lindemann still has a few issues with paranoia to sort out.
“I still love horror and psychological thrillers,” Lindemann tells American Songwriter. “I started watching horror movies at a super young age, which I think is what probably sparks this fear in my brain. When I was a little kid my biggest fear was being kidnapped. But I swear to you there was something going on in this house I was living in. I actually really did start sleeping with a knife under my pillow.”
Her appetite for horror films and the movies she watch seem to feed into Lindemann’s overactive imagination, and in turn, the anxieties and insecurities that pepper her music. Since her 2015 debut, Lindemann has turned those fears into songs, like the label-busting anthem Pretty Girl, which have earned her massive online success — over a billion audio streams, more than 175 million YouTube views and 6 million followers across social media.
Lindemann’s new single follows Friends Go, which she released in March last year — a track featuring Travis Barker that unknowingly predicted how many would be feeling during the pandemic’s lockdown this year. Knife, with its 90s-style pop-rock flavor, tracks a very real fear Lindemann has – of a house intrusion – while it plays on a theme she says will be running through her forthcoming release. “The EP is focused around paranoia and all the feelings that have came with that,” she says.
The single also marks her debut with Caroline Records – a partnership that aligns with her pop-punk aspirations – and while she’s still working through her angst, Lindemann is a lot more confident than when she first stepped out. “I know so much more now,” she laughs when talking about her foray into music 5 years ago. “I know how to be comfortable with myself, even when i’m not feeling confident. I know how to handle situations without feeling the need to defend myself or act crazy. I finally feel confident in myself and the music I’m making. I was really lost 5 years ago. I feel like I’m a fully different person from when I was young. 5 years is a lot of time to grow,” she says.
Lindemann has been working with Alex Lahey, collaborating with the alternative rock singer on the next tracks that will be released. “She’s so talented,” says Lindemann. “We have some more songs coming out together that I’m so excited about! She’s been amazing!”
In between making music, Lindemann also started a clothing line and created a podcast. Releasing her music directly to the world has taught her to continue to put out the things she genuinely likes and believes in. “It’s really scary putting your art out for the world to judge,” she says. As anyone who spends even a small amount of time online knows, that can be even scarier than a horror movie.