Deathlist's debut is a captivating, dark rumination on the world.
Listening to Jenny Logan and her debut self-titled album under the moniker Deathlist, you’d never know about her silent beginnings. Growing up in California, she was forbidden from speaking for a year when she was thirteen, a time when most adolescent girls are chattily coming into their own personalities. She escaped to New York City in the dark of night to start using her voice again in the form of music. She’s played in other projects, including Summer Cannibals, My Teenage Stride, Mortals, and more, but now it’s her turn to take the lead. Earlier in her career, Logan was too nervous to play facing the crowd and refused to use a microphone. Now, she’s facing the audience, loud and clear, leaving a mark.
Deathlist is a dark rumination of the world. Written while Logan was on tour, it was a way of internalizing the death of her estranged father. She plays just about every instrument on the album, only handing over control of the drums on the first two tracks in which she recruited Scotty Magee of Ural Thomas and the Pain to lend a hand. The album was recorded in Portland with Victor Nash at Destination: Universe, which is both a science-fiction library and a recording studio. The unique and mysterious location appears to have left a stain on the equally mysterious album. “Wait” sets the tone of Deathlist, with heavy drums and pure rock and roll guitars. Her voice comes through droney and distant; you can picture her almost growling the words. There’s a doom metal influence here, but her vocals lift the song out of the depths of sludge. “Dream Of” has us wading through guitars as sticky as molasses with her voice giving the song a mesmerizing chorus you can’t stop listening to. “Are you not tired from this life? I’m already tired from this,” Jenny sings on “Hate,” and there’s never been a song to relate to more these days. The song has the oppressive feeling of one of those days where you just don’t know if you can go on, but you do anyways. “ I will retire from this life,” she goes on amid the rhythmic bass drum, adding sweet shakers and twinkling piano that give hope to an otherwise draining message. We can make it through this; just keep going. “Stay There” showcases the power of Jenny’s voice. She’s layered a chorus of saccharine ohhs and ahhs over her her deeply sung vocals, expanding her impressive range. The song fades into “June,” which takes a more upbeat turn with poppy synths and a killer bass line, making it impossible to sit still during the track. “How can I feel so alone inside when you’re so close by?” she asks. “The Night” takes a final unexpected turn for the upbeat with an almost beach-y feel to it with the help of a twinkling xylophone. This album will impress anyone who's a fan of dark, heavy rock. As the genre is typically a boy’s club, this album proves Logan as Deathlist can compete with the best.
Listen to Deathlist on bandcamp.
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Kat Harding is a music publicist living in Nashville, TN, with her loud kitty cat Goose. She often cries when excited at shows and can be found on twitter at @iwearaviators.