New Noise Magazine is pleased to be bringing forth the exclusive premiere of FUN by Deathlist. This record is rather eerie in its play through, embraced by a haunting vocal performance that strings through the songs and dances in the head space of the listener long after. It all starts with “Air,” lead by a thick bass line that plays out seismic pulses of waves. Each track has a gripping bass, with Jenny Logan explaining, “I begin with bass line or a main riff and write a vocal melody over that by just singing random words and playing in my bedroom. In the studio I’ll start with those elements and then listen back and think about what the song needs to be fully realized. Usually it takes a few experiments with different instruments before I find the right one for the song.”
Logan’s experimentation and thoughtful details give each track their own amorphous identity, like the hypnotic “Charm School.” The track rides a steady beat, adding various instruments (including Logan’s soothing vocals) over the fuzzy haze. “Machine Bright” is a slower burn of a track, paced with a melancholic tone that feels a bit defeated, as Logan trembles through the lyrics. This grim tone comes from the space that Logan wrote the record, opening up about FUN’s “sort of a twilight zone headspace, honestly. I’d just returned from tour and my oldest friend’s funeral. So I was actually really happy to be in the studio and completely immerse myself in something other than grief. Unsurprisingly though the album is all about him, and me processing what happened – the opening track is about finding out he had died, and the last track is about his lost soul wandering the earth with me.”
This beautifully haunting and spiritual release is full of a lonely but hopeful heart. “Live For You” is a jaw dropping track composed of a timid vocal approach, hiding behind the layers of emotion that make up the walls of piano chords and the soft guitar strum. It’s a touching moment of complete urgency and delicacy. Jenny Logan of Deathlist is here to present an in depth look at the lyrics and meaning of FUN, exclusively premiering right here.
I wrote this record about my friend J, who died in custody in San Francisco last summer. Let me first say something about the album title. The first time I hung out with J we were hanging out in a basement listening to records and i had on glittery nail polish and he took a safety pin and started writing letters in each one: F, U…I thought it would spell FUCK but no. This became sort of a running joke between us. When he moved away the first time we carved FUN into our arms.
When I first heard J was dead I was in the green room at Doug Fir in Portland about to play a show. Internet rumors were flying around and I couldn’t really confirm or believe it – I was in shock – especially because it was reported that he hung himself but it was also reported that he was alive when he arrived at SF General Hospital. So this song is about that shock and confusion and refusal to believe.
I wrote Twin on a couch in my friend’s beach house. Harrison added that druggy synth part. I think we were channelling Sisters of Mercy here.
I wrote this song a long time ago but could never finish it. I thought it would come together in the studio and then I realized it was finished – not every song has to be 3 minutes long. J was always the most stoic person I knew and I used to equate that to strength, but I am wrestling with that idea here.
Victor, the engineer I work with, and I are always trying to mix things to sound “gross.” I think we nailed it with the synth solo on this song. It’s about messed up mothers, and lovers.
Until you’re mine.
This claustrophobic love song is one of my favorites to play live but I was never able to get a good recording of it until now. We reversed the guitar track for the intro and then I re-learned the part backwards so I could perform it.
I had a dream about J a couple weeks after he died where we were hanging out in the warehouse in Oakland where we used to practice and I was telling him all about his funeral. I thought he was holding on to too much anger.
They lit off a flash bomb in his apartment before taking him in to custody, and Harrison insisted on adding a bomb exploding sound to the song.
I had to write J’s obituary and help arrange his memorial, which is a sad power. So I brought all his friends together for a night but there was no real catharsis for me. I was driving around afterwards and talking to myself and the lyrics for this song came out. I kept adding layers of instruments to this song and then taking them away, because a stripped down sound was really what it needed.
That dancey drum intro was a mistake that I fell in love with. It’s my nod to Janet Jackson.
Live For You
You know how you can turn on an amp sometimes and it picks up some weird radio frequency? I think it’s usually AM radio. We sampled some of that ghost radio for the intro to this song.
This might be the longest song I’ve ever written. Harrison and I played a lot of dueling guitar solos on this song. I looped the bass line and basic guitar part for the whole song. It’s named after a Roberto Bolano poem called “Window,” about wandering around in an unrecognizable city, heartbroken and invisible but alive.
Photo by Todd Wahlberg