Twelve years ago, Linn Koch-Emmery brought her first electric guitar and with it came visions of sharing her music with the rest of the world. Throughout high school and into her twenties, she played in a host of bands, but she found her voice and sound in 2016 when she went solo. Her debut single, “Come Back”, opened eyes while her debut EP, Boys, entrenched her as one of Sweden’s most promising, young singer-songwriters and one of indie’s emerging guitar-pop mavens. The Norrköping native continues the momentum with the soaring Waves.
Koch-Emmery’s sophomore EP is a memorable and highly contagious affair. The record, however, isn’t just four, crowd-pleasing songs, but it reads like a young woman’s journal and her grappling with the pitfalls of life and love. It is, in other words, like the movie Singles set in 2018.
Waves kicks off with the adrenaline-inducing “Don’t sleep on my luv”. The track bursts with boisterous guitar hooks and rambling rhythms, and through the cascading pop haze is Koch-Emmery’s shimmering voice. She encourages all to live their lives and not dwell on things, including a broken heart.
Wires”, follows, and like its predecessor the song is a heart-pumping anthem. With its clean guitar lines and bouncy rhythms, the song is pure sonic euphoria. Her lyrics, too, are full of hope and optimism, as she shares her own experience of finding light in a time of darkness. Or as she says, “There is a star in every black hole”, and these lines are poster-worthy.
She slow things down and shows a different side with the intimate and introspective “You & I”. Taking a page out of Alvvays’ playbook, Koch-Emmery shares moments with a loved one. She wonders aloud “what you’re thinking of” and hopes she can be “the answers you found”.
The EP comes to a close with the only way Koch-Emmery knows how to play. That is with a full-throttle, face-melting, guitar-pop eye-opener with “Waves”. A searing, shoegaze-drenched guitar wails out of the start, and it’s reminiscent of Ride and Cocteau Twins. Even when the guitar ebbs back, her band delivers roaring rhythms to complement her story of a her “bended” mind. Occupying her thoughts is a person from a past, and he still continues to haunt her mind. As the song grows to its mind-blowing, fist-pumping ending and the 26-year old artist hollers, “and I still think of you”, all those who hear this EP will repeat these words. The person to whom they are addressing these words aren’t an ex-lover. They are for Linn Koch-Emmery, who proves once again why she is one of Sweden’s most exciting talents.
Waves is out on Welfare Sounds & Records.
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