Deathlist Harnesses Teen Angst & Nightmare Energy In New Album

Portland-based solo artist Jenny Logan created Deathlist to express her deepest emotions and darkest desires. If Swans and Angel Olsen had a musical baby, Deathlist would be it.

Bursting with synth, experimental samples, echoing vocals, and distortion, Deathlist’s positive take on morbidness couldn’t have come at a better time. As pandemic fears and quarantine drive everyone insane, Deathlist knows exactly where you need to channel all that dark energy.

“Music is like a Rorschach test for me,” she tells BTRtoday. “I like that [writing music] goes beyond what I can communicate with language.”

Her fifth LP You Won’t Be Here For Long instantly conveys a horror scenario, but Logan says it shouldn’t be taken that way—in fact, it’s positive. When the album title came to her in a dream, even she felt like it initially meant death was near. But while she continued pondering those harrowing words, Logan started to feel comforted by the thought that nothing is permanent.

The album comes out May 29, in the meantime read the entire interview with Jenny Logan aka Deathlist below, and watch the video for the single “Night Face Regretter” below.

Deathlist, “Night Face Regretter”

BTRtoday (BTR): How do you allow yourself to get so personal when creating your music?

Jenny Logan (JL): I’m kind of an idiot about my own feelings. Sometimes I don’t really know what’s going on with me until I’m working on a song, then in writing the lyrics I realize, “oh I’m upset about this” or, “oh this was never really resolved for me.” So the personal stuff just kind of comes out. Music is like a Rorschach test for me. I like that [writing music] goes beyond what I can communicate with language.

BTR: Is quarantine helping cultivate your creativity or are you using this time to take a break?

JL: Yes and no. I’m writing when I feel like it, but I’m not trying to force anything. Doing a lot of chilling, reading, and hanging out with my dog.

BTR: You seem like a chill person—why did you go with such a morbid name like Deathlist?

JL: When I was 16 I knew this kid named Jesse, he shared a room with my boyfriend at the time. He had a list on his wall titled “People To Kill” and when he was feeling extra he’d stab it with a knife. I don’t know, something about that specific kind of teenage energy captured my brain. The things we do to imagine that we have some power in the world.

BTR: Your single “Night Face Regretter” has a very interesting song title. What does it mean?

JL: It’s the idea of a person that shows a vulnerable side of themselves to someone and comes to regret it. But the song itself is more about the aftermath of that kind of regretted exposure.

BTR: The upcoming album title feels somewhat morbid as well—You Won’t Be Here for Long. What was the inspiration behind that?

JL: I had a dream when I was working on this record. It was sort of a lucid dream and I don’t remember much of what was happening except, a voice came through and told me, “you won’t be here for long.” I got up and went downstairs thinking, “oh shit, I’m gonna die soon.” But then reflecting on it later, it really applies to everything—you don’t have your dreams for long, and in the grand scheme of things, you won’t be in this world for long. It could be seen as a blessing or a curse, I guess, but in this record, I chose to see it as something positive. Say what you’ve got to say now, it’s later than you think.

BTR: What else should we be keeping an eye out for in the future of Deathlist?

JL: I had an idea of making a record that was all one song, but multiple movements—like a piece of classical music, but pop. So, I’ve been working on that in quarantine, but I haven’t recorded anything yet.