‘Borderline Iconic’: Linn Koch-Emmery Unpacks Her Feverish, Triumphant, & Aching Sophomore Album

Linn Koch-Emmery 'Borderline Iconic' © Jonas Carmhagen
Linn Koch-Emmery 'Borderline Iconic' © Jonas Carmhagen
Swedish singer/songwriter Linn Koch-Emmery takes us track-by-track through her triumphant and charged, unapologetic and uncompromising sophomore album ‘Borderline Iconic’ – a breathtakingly bold, beautifully brutal indie rock fever dream brimming with raw passion, unfiltered vulnerability, and deeply cathartic inner reckoning.
for fans of Sky Ferreira, Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, Mitski
Stream: “Ebay Armour” – Linn Koch-Emmery

I’ve been stacking hope that’s burning way too fast, and limited supplies make people fall in love…

I need a room where I can scream,” Linn Koch-Emmery declares mere seconds into her sophomore album. “To be a mess and not be seen.” Her voice is hot on the mic, channeling her inner fire out alongside a rush of heavy guitars and thunderous drums. It’s an intense, emotionally charged scene, and the perfect introduction to a record full of raw passion, unfiltered vulnerability, and deeply cathartic reckoning. Unapologetic and uncompromising, Borderline Iconic is a breathtakingly bold, beautifully brutal fever dream: An intimate and restless indie rock record finds Koch-Emmery dwelling in the depths of her own humanity, picking apart what it means to be active and engaged in this chaotic world – to think, to feel, to be present, and to be alive.

Because she knows what it’s like to be absent from her life – and that’s not living.

Sometimes, you just need a room where you can scream.

Borderline Iconic - Linn Koch-Emmery
Borderline Iconic – Linn Koch-Emmery
I need a room where I can scream
To be a mess and not be seen
They want a song to save their lives
I do everything not to write
I hate my life in the city
I feel like shit and then I miss it
I think about my dad
he sends me stuff to cure my sad
I need some time to figure it out…
 need some time to figure me out
– “A room where I can scream,” Linn Koch-Emmery

Released May 23, 2024, Borderline Iconic is the dramatic upheaval of an aching heart and soul. Produced by Pete Robertson of The Vaccines, Linn Koch-Emmery’s highly-anticipated sophomore album arrives three long years after the Swedish Grammy-nominated artist’s 2021 debut Being the Girl, itself a shiver-inducing record that deserved all the acclaim it received upon its release.

Linn Koch-Emmery 'Borderline Iconic' © Jonas Carmhagen
Linn Koch-Emmery ‘Borderline Iconic’ © Jonas Carmhagen

While her first record set a baseline of excellence, Borderline Iconic sees Koch-Emmery hitting her stride as a true sonic and emotional power hitter. Eleven songs, each one as charming and churning as the last, find the Swedish singer/songwriter embracing a vast spectrum of music and feeling – essentially finding her comfort zone by essentially getting out of her comfort zone. From graceful, elegant power-ballads, to angsty, messy anthems (and everything in-between), Borderline Iconic is definitively iconic, riding the zeitgeist by capturing the turbulence and turmoil of our times – both on a societal level, and on a personal, individual level.

“I lost my mind over this over and over again, as you do when something just feels larger than life,” Koch-Emmery first shared on her album’s release day. “Writing this made me feel less alone in my head… I’m so proud of this music, the words and the feelings each of these songs sparked in me at one point.”

Koch-Emmery is not alone in what she’s going through, and by saying all the quiet parts out loud through song, she creates a space for us to confront, wrestle with, and (hopefully) release our own inner demons.

In a room made of glass
I’m the stone that gets thrown in
And you keep picking up the bits
It keeps bleeding on your things
I get it, this is it
Then what’s left behind?
It’s all you got?
We’re not done
Come on and show me love
On my back looking up
I see beautiful things ahead
Looking up I see beautiful things ahead

Linn Koch-Emmery 'Borderline Iconic' © Jonas Carmhagen
Linn Koch-Emmery ‘Borderline Iconic’ © Jonas Carmhagen

As she explains, all of these songs are personal, diary-like entries wrought from her innermost depths, with the help of Pete Robertson.

“The album was recorded in Somerset, at the loft in Pete’s house,” Koch-Emmery tells Atwood Magazine. “Outside the windows there were cows grazing and every now and then you could hear them moo; we had to close the window when recording vocals to shut them out. My music has always been quite autobiographical and usually reflects my life at the time of writing. This is the latest chapter.”

“I rarely think of anything else other than writing even better songs,” she chuckles. “The time in life, my mood and circumstances play in naturally in how the music is sounding at the time, I’d say. Sound wise, I think the vision came to life once I started working with Pete. He naturally added a factor that hasn’t been there before in my music. To me, it does feel like I moved the barriers a bit both musically and lyrically. All music is personal to me, but this one does cut a bit deeper than Being the girl, in my opinion.”

Borderline Iconic takes its title from the track of the same name; Koch-Emmery wrote it about her tendency toward “all or nothingness,” and not knowing where her stabilizing medications and antidepressants ended and her true personality began.

But the words themselves seem to hold an even deeper weight. “It was something that was blurted out during recording the first song we worked on together,” she recalls. “It just stuck. This was before we even knew if it was going to be an album, but I remember I made the decision there and then, that if we were making one, that was going to be the title. Can’t back off from that.”

Once there was flames
Gushing from your heart
It will all go away
Age can stabilize these thoughts
But nothing really matters
In the state of pain and love
Stuck up in the static
An arm’s length to the world
A passenger at best,
But you get lonelier by the hour
Tell me, how you want it
Borderline iconic
Flatline baby need me
Nothing is completely, yours

Highlights abound on the journey from “A room where I can scream” to album closer “Why do you think I’m here?” – a song that sends shivers down the spine as Koch-Emmery gets hyper-personal for one last time. The album’s lead single “Ebay Armour” – which immediately follows the opener – is an instant standout: A gut-wrenching song of love and letting go, the track hits hard and leaves a lasting mark as Koch-Emmery reckons with painful, poignant realizations in real time, accepting the need to leave someone she cares about, so that they can become the best possible version of themselves. “How in the world can we go on?” she asks in a heated, heavy-hearted chorus, aching from the inside out while grappling in the throes of grief and trauma, loss and longing.

“Trauma and grief is illogical,” Koch-Emmery told Atwood upon the song’s initial release. “Sometimes we cope with it through substances, others do it by buying weird stuff off the Internet, like a life-sized armour. This song is about a person close to me that I never could seem to figure out, and the pain and frustration that comes with trying.”

Every thought is a waterfall
Everything is spiraling down
It’s not in the words or the substance you use
Or the things you’re figuring out
How in the world can we go on?
How in the world can we go on?



Further memorable songs include the searing, heated title track “Borderline Iconic,” the heartbreaking (yet softly hopeful) “Happy,” the achingly visceral, cinematic confessional “Rocknroll,” and the spirited, seductive eruption, “No Hands.”

“‘No Hands’ is about living, loving and losing in the fast lane,” the artist smiles. “Imagine this being what corporate people dream of when they get their $5 flat white in the morning.”

All I want is everything
Is that too much to ask?
Black and white philosophy
Sometimes that can hurt
No hands on the steering wheel
I want roll the dice
Up and down in breakneck speed
Smoke rings in the sky
– “No Hands,” Linn Koch-Emmery

As a lyrically forward artist, Koch-Emmery is quick to cite some of her favorite lines on the entire album. For her, the second verse of “Borderline Iconic” is quite telling of the record as a whole:

Used to be more fun,
to love to play guitar,
what happens with a mind,
when they try balancing it off?
I’ve been stacking hope,
that’s burning way too fast
and limited supplies
makes people fall in love

Meanwhile, she says one of her favorite songs, from day one, has been the album’s fifth track, “For the Screens.” “I love the guitar riff, still can’t believe I did that!” she laughs, describing it as a “sad banger with a Pixies guitar hook.”

“If you ever found yourself in a relationship or two with an emotionally unavailable person, let this be the closure you never got.”

Linn Koch-Emmery 'Borderline Iconic' © Jonas Carmhagen
Linn Koch-Emmery ‘Borderline Iconic’ © Jonas Carmhagen

As loud as it is quiet, as explosive as it is serene (at times),  Borderline Iconic is a truly irresistible, unconquerable tempest – and an undeniable, unimpeachable triumph.

Linn Koch-Emmery’s sophomore album rides an honest, unapologetically real and raw roller-coaster of emotions from start to finish. In exposing her deepest and darkest thoughts and feelings, the Swedish artist creates an unbreakable connection between herself and her listeners. It’s the kind of bond you don’t see with your eyes, but you feel with your heart.

The stars hung bright when you called my name
Counted my bets, looked my best but felt ashamed
You were never first name basis in my phone
Started to fall in love when you’re already gone
This week you’re r*ping someone for the screens
It’s just made up but I can see what they mean

The power went out when you left the house
I spent hours in the dark trying to figure you out
I spent hours in the dark trying to figure you out
Are you in our out? Blue headlights
You in our out? Can’t stand by

You in or out? Blue headlights
You in our out? Can’t stand by…
– “For the Screens,” Linn Koch-Emmery

“I hope listeners feel less alone,” Koch-Emmery shares. “That’s what this record does for me. As I listen to it now, and I had the same feeling when I wrote it, these songs are making me feel more at peace with myself. I like the person I am making music, and that’s not always the case.”

These songs won’t just wake you up; they’ll shake you to your core. Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Linn Koch-Emmery’s soul-stirring Borderline Iconic with Atwood Magazine as she goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her sophomore album!

— —

:: stream/purchase Borderline Iconic here ::
:: connect with Linn Koch-Emmery here ::
Stream: ‘Borderline Iconic’ – Linn Koch-Emmery

:: Inside Borderline Iconic ::

Borderline Iconic - Linn Koch-Emmery

— —

A room where I can scream

Welcome to the chaotic intro of my record. It’s about expectations, depression and feeling shut off from the world.

Ebay Armour 

First baby we recorded for the album. I have precise memories of recording the bridge parts. It was the first day working with Pete in his house in Somerset and I was in a less good place mentally that spring. Listening to the bridge now I feel a lot of love and warmth for myself and him, he has been such a rock in this process. The bridge vocals are exactly how they were meant to be, I just couldn’t see it at the time. Thanks Pete!

Borderline Iconic 

Here it is again. That all or nothingness that I always tend to seek. This is also reflecting on being on stabilizing meds and antidepressants since my teens, not knowing where your personality starts and the meds ends.

Colombian Embassy

The guiltier the heart the more expensive is the art. A night in the life told in maybe too fine detail. A bit scared I’ll get sued for this.

For the Screens

Sad banger with a Pixies guitar-hook. If you ever found yourself in a relationship or two with an emotionally unavailable person, let this be the closure you never got.


There’s never as much hope as in the beginning and right before the end of a relationship. The outro part still breaks my own heart in the best of ways. Quite proud of my vocal stretches in the end.


Sometimes I feel like I dont know where music starts and Linn the human ends. Making music it’s so engraved in my identity and the image I hold of myself, it’s embarrassing. But also being in this industry, being valued and measured by numbers and views, it’s quite easy to forget what I actually like about it. One of the most painful things is when I find myself hating music. This song made me cry when I recorded the demo. I was just so relieved writing felt exciting again and it sounds stupid since I wrote it, but it gave me comfort.

These Days

This is about being dumped, fear of abandonment and feeling like shit. This song has had many different costumes, the first version we worked on had this really long weird solo that is still long and a bit weird.

No Hands

I heard a song with a glam rock beat on the radio and here’s the end result of that next impulse. We kept some of my demo guitars and accidental noises in the solo part from my bedroom recordings. A lot about this song came very instinctively and was hard to recreate once it was done the first time.


My favorite tre chapter novel of the record. This is such a fun ride as it just evolves so much. The last part still blows my mind and ears everytime.

Why do you think I’m here? 

One of the last songs I wrote for the record. It’s visually centered around my old street where I used to live and reflecting on a certain time in my life. I  tried to re-write it the verse melody so many times, but I guess it has something dissonant to it that just stuck because nothing else felt right after a while.

— —

:: stream/purchase Borderline Iconic here ::
:: connect with Linn Koch-Emmery here ::

— — — —

Borderline Iconic - Linn Koch-Emmery

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? © Jonas Carmhagen

Borderline Iconic

an album by Linn Koch-Emmery

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