Between the name Deathlist, the album title You Won’t Be Here For Long, the cadaverous cover shot and the you’ve-been-warned press release below, I was bracing myself for something dour, dark and desperately depressing here. But this fourth full-length from Portland singer-songwriter Jenny Logan is way livelier than I was expecting, thanks in no small part to the widesceen shoegazer cyclones, grinding basslines and live drums that add layers of expansive edginess and energetic momentum to her haunting vocals and downcast melodies. It won’t take you long to realize you need to add this to your playlist.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Deathlist doesn’t do happy. This is one of the best things about band mastermind Jenny Logan’s uncompromising body of work. She makes peerless dead-of-winter music. Middle-of-the-night music. Staring-at-the-sea music. Logan expertly mixes pitch-black bleakness with streaks of devastating beauty, and the results are fractured mirrors of the world we’re all stuck in: dark and weird and teeming with eerie wonder. It’s you’re-alone-but-you’re-not-alone music, which is the best kind of music there is. On You Won’t Be Here For Long, Deathlist’s fourth LP in as many years, Logan goes looking for the horrible and awesome mysteries beyond the veil. What strange forms lurk behind the fleeting despair and dour moods that define our everyday? It won’t surprise anyone familiar with her discography to learn that Logan finds an even deeper shade of black in the great elsewhere. It’s a different kind of void, the throbbing sort you see on the backs of your own eyelids: every color at once colliding with every thought at once. It is the place where nothing becomes everything becomes nothing. “I really wanted to find a more universal way to understand my own particular heartbreak and pain to try and get in touch with something more permanent than myself,” Logan says. Her search for understanding began by shaking up her songwriting practice. Instead of heading into the studio with a batch of new songs, Logan built You Won’t Be Here For Long around synth improvisations and drum tracks recorded with Victor Nash at Destination: Universe. “The improvisational origin of the songs is important. I was trying to let go of my ego and tap into something more like dreams or the unconscious,” she explains. “The title You Won’t Be Here For Long sort of applies to everything — life, dreams, relationships, pain. It’s all temporary, but it can help lead us to something universal.” The end result is a unique melange without a permanent address. Like Deathlist’s past work, it flirts with the crimson gloom of goth-ish post-punk — there are noticeable traces of The Cure, Bauhaus and Christian Death haunting Logan’s sound — but there is a hypnagogic quality on You Won’t Be Here For Long without precedent in Deathlist’s catalog. The repetitive bliss of Suicide and controlled squalls of The Jesus and Mary Chain come to mind, but what are milemarkers in a dreamscape?”