Danish DIY and genre-bending musician/producer LINN may have shared stages with Nouvelle Vague, worked with Violent Femmes and supported Garbage during her time in The Bowdashes, but it’s now as she releases her debut solo material that she truly comes into her own.
Creating hypnotic, playful lo-fi arrangements her music displays a confident and creative artists. On her debut solo EP, Happy Metal, we find unpolished instrumentation woven through spine-tingling vocals and minimalist guitars; making for truly captivating listening.
Prior to Happy Metal’s release, we spoke to LINN about her time with The Bowdashes, the Danish music scene and the inspiration behind her debut EP.
Hello! How’s it going? Tell us a bit about yourself and what led you to a career in music?
Hey, thanks for asking. It’s a weird and tough time we’re going through and I desperately miss a lot of things that I used to take for granted. It’s hard to keep your sanity, when you feel like the world is going crazy. It saddens me to see how people are suffering. On the other hand, I’m lucky that both my family and I are safe and healthy. And I go on by making music and drinking red wine at home.
I’ve grown up in a house with a piano and a lot of my dad’s guitars all around me, so I started playing and writing songs as a little girl and I just haven’t been able to let go of it ever since.
Was a career in music always the plan, or did you have other aspirations when you were younger?
Making music really makes my brain chill, it’s pure zen to me. I know now that my mind gets dark at times, when I am not able to have some kind of a musical output. But I am also, or at least I was, sort of a math nerd, so I’ve studied Economics at the University, not because I wanted to become an economist, I just thought it was exciting to dig deeper into math. I guess that’s why I also started producing and programming music. The process gives me the feeling of solving a complex mathematical equation. In both cases, it’s frustrating when you can’t get it right, but then I push myself, go back, try something new or turn things around until suddenly the right solution or the final mix is there.
Also, once I considered becoming an air traffic controller…
You were previously part of The Bowdashes and toured with some pretty big names, how do you think those experiences transfer into your solo work?
I truly have had some amazing experiences and shared many special moments with my bandmate Nana. Being in a band also helped me figure out, who I am as a musician and how important it was for me to be able to express that through my own music too. I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from people I’ve worked with, but also newer artists and sounds I discovered more recently. And now I’ve been able to mix it all up and just play around with all these different influences. The new sound is very unalike the projects I’ve been a part of earlier, but there’re certainly recognisable elements.
Talk us through your new EP ‘Happy Metal’, where did the inspiration come from and how does it feel to have your solo work out in the world?
I’ve started working on the first songs a few years ago, writing, performing and producing most of it by myself. I’ve been experimenting pretty heavily with lo-fi recording techniques, effects and styles and sampled random stuff too. It felt liberating to try out different things and along the way I’ve kind of developed the sound and style that is Happy Metal. The songs represent me and my life during the last few years and are somehow revealing what’s going on inside my head.
I was never sure if I had the courage to release it though. But the quarantine left me restless and I made a brief decision to finally put out an EP. I was rather nervous before it came out. It really surprised and amazed me how well my first two songs have been received. I was convinced it would be way too niche and weird or too much me (whatever that is) for anyone else to get it, ha.
So you’re from Denmark, we don’t really hear all that much Danish music as of late - who are some upcoming artists we should be listening to?
I’ll recommend anyone to check out Boujeloud if you’re up for avant-garde punk-jazz. If you like minimalistic R&B then check out Josephin Bovién, she has an amazing sound. Blood Child is another favourite of mine and they are also my very good friends. In fact, some of them are family and are playing in my band too.
Tell us something you’ve learned about yourself in the process of creating this new EP?
That I’m still into math.
When touring returns, what can we expect from a LINN live show?
I can’t wait to play these songs live with my band! They are yearning to be smashed and twisted and exploded into a live performance and that’s what’s going to happen.
And what would be your ‘dream’ show? Who would be supporting and what’s on the rider?
Playing a show with people I love and admire and to people, who appreciate the music, is my overall goal. Can’t really ask for more right now. Okay, put a heavy amount of strong Italian red wine and bottles of Laphroaig on that rider, because we have to live a little.
What’s the plan after ‘Happy Metal’, anything in the works?
I don’t want to jinx anything, but yes, I do have some exciting things lined up in the near future. Also, I’m working on new songs for my next release and it might be a little different from my debut EP.