Lina Maxine is an artist who has captivated and crafted a universal connection through her music. So far in 2023, Lina has presented her unique sonic exploration that borders between power-pop and prog rock, with neatly intertwined elements that set her apart from the crowd. Her recent single ‘LET ME’, instilled Maxine’s progressive and exciting phase of her career to date, with an anthemic pop-rock song aligned with her up-tempo, power punk musical heart.
This multifaceted musician, producer and singer-songwriter takes an emotive approach to power pop and acoustic prog rock, all about the power of human embrace in the face of adversity, channeled in such an emotive and invigorating way by Maxine. Influenced by the likes of Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold and Muse, and more recently the Grammy-winning artist Billie Eilish, Lina has been inspired to make her own sound altogether and has implemented a whole new style that is hers and hers alone.
Featuring in Notion, Earmilk, Galore, Flaunt, and Music News so far this year, Lina is on the verge of releasing her highly anticipated 6-track EP “You’re My Only Friend”, with the intoxicating lead single ‘CHERRY’. Grungy and on the edge of pop-rock grit, Lina lets it all unfold in this truly evocative and jaw-dropping track that evokes so much colorful and other worldly energy.
Inspired heavily by the great Kate Bush, ‘Cherry’ is all about that intensified love at first sight and deep connection you seem to make with someone in your mind without even knowing them. Written, produced, recorded and mixed in-house by Lina Maxine and Dean Aladay, the pair create an Anime atmosphere with the dazzling electronic synth lines that only add to the euphoric meaning behind the song.
Wanting to only get lost in those cherry eyes, Lina was inspired by a love that’s cartoon-esque; it’s overwhelming, fast-moving and will sweep you off your feet in an instant. ‘Cherry’ reflects that pent up energy with style, personality and vigor, in what feels like a second coming of Lady Gaga in her vocal delivery and performance.
Full of rhythmic percussion elements that further transcend this acoustic version, Lina’s layered harmonies and the brilliantly written acoustic guitar lines breathes this song a new lease of life, leaning to a more universal and modern sound in its stripped back form, further instilling the notion that Lina Maxine is here and is here to stay. It’s haunting yet delicately beautiful, and that seems to perfectly represent everything that Lina is as an artist.
Lina says ‘Let Me’ and ‘Cherry’ are thematically linked, with the former asking for permission to fall in love, and the latter exploding and jumping at the thought of it. “Cherry is in full bloom, the all I ever wanted was you, continuation of that story.” she explains. It’s clear that Lina Maxine has concocted something truly powerful and mesmerizing once more in ‘Cherry’, in a song that seems to blend nuances of all aforementioned facets in one power-popping offering that sticks.
“Cherry” is maybe a little more straightforward than some of the prog-influenced songs on MIND GAMES though certainly it still blends together a lot of those disparate influences. How do you know when a song wants to veer a little more pop than prog?
I never really sit down to write a specifically influenced or styled track – with ‘You’re My Only Friend’ it was really important to me to write what my gut told me to write. I really wanted to connect with the intentions behind each track, and build the lyrics and instrumentals around where the song’s main energies were at. I think that’s why a lot of the songwriting on ‘YMOF’ is more intentional, whilst still maintaining some of the prog-driven instrumentation that made up ‘Mind Games’. Something I love about the approach we took to ‘YMOF’ and ‘Cherry’ in particular was to really listen to what the song needed, and equally importantly, what it didn’t. That approach gave us loads of space to explore some really exotic and exciting instrumentation.
Did the song go through any changes from the draft to the finished product? How did “Cherry” end up in its final form?
The demo process for ‘Cherry’ was really fun – I really wanted an upbeat song for the record, and in the span of an afternoon last summer we (my producer and I) had laid down a pretty solid foundation for the idea. We ended up including a lot of the original demo guitars as layers in the final mix because they carried a lot of that initial energy and excitement that only comes along with a new song. One change that the song did go through from demo to master, though, was that I initially sang the pre-chorus in a straight four on the floor rhythm – but one day I was playing the song on the piano, and randomly pushed one of the lines before the beat. I immediately knew that that section needed a little push in the vocal rhythm, to keep the energy true to that pumping groove we captured in the demo. So, on the final record I pushed each line in the pre, and it gave it this really hypnotic ‘dancing by myself’ feel, which I absolutely love.
How do the two singles, “Let Me” and “Cherry,” compare to the rest of the songs on your new EP, You’re My Only Friend?
‘Let Me’ was the first song we wrote for the record, and I feel like for me it was a really big step in my musical journey. It was the first time I felt so sure of what I wanted the chorus, the delivery and the message of the song to be. I knew I wanted ‘Let Me’ to have this hungry, raw edge to it. As we continued to write and produce the record, I found a lot of inspo for songs in everyday life events. My younger brother made me a drawing of a guitar, and it meant so much to me that it got me thinking about how picking up a guitar for the first time really changed, and in many ways saved my life. Hence, ‘EADGBE’ was born. ‘Cherry’ came about further down the line, at a point where I felt I’d grown even more confident in the intention of my songs. I feel like where ‘Let Me’ was built on a hunger for more, ‘Cherry’ was built on satisfaction.
What are your plans for the rest of the year? Any touring? More recording? The fans need to know!
I’ve got so much planned for the rest of the year – I loved ‘Cherry’ so much that we decided to record an acoustic version of it, which I’ll be putting out sometime in July. I’ve got shows lined up through the summer that I’ll be announcing soon, and I’m so excited to get back in the studio come the fall – I’ve been writing a lot recently, I feel like ‘YMOF’ really opened up a lot of creative doors in my brain, and I’m so excited to explore what’s behind them. I’m also really excited to explore the future of music too. The world is changing at a really fast pace technologically and I feel like the worlds of music and visuals are gonna evolve in really exciting ways.