Witchy Woman: An interview with genre-bending songbird Kim Logan

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Nashville-based songwriter Kim Logan. Photo by Mikaela Frizzell.

Nashville-based songbird Kim Logan pairs haunting vocals with a sonic palette that draws from a gamut of influences and bygone eras. In her music you hear tinges of outlaw country, swampy delta blues, psychedelia and soul–just to scathe the surface. Though sounds of yesteryear are palpable in her sound, Logan’s tip of the hat to an eclectic array of styles is crucial to harnessing her own unique voice.

Logan sings often of ill-fated romances and star-crossed lovers. The Sarasota, Fla. native  ditches regret and somberness, emotions that often riddle the minds of scorned lovers,  with a raw swagger that recalls poetic alt-country legend Lucinda Williams. Like Williams, Logan confronts toxic relationships and mines her Southern roots masterfully (in addition to owning a pure talent for penning catchy kiss-off songs), crafting mysterious and macabre portraits that capture the spirit of the Deep South.

The genre-bending songwriter has followed her 2013 self-titled debut with a new, equally stirring project. The endeavor, a 7″ single series titled “Pseudoscience”, began with an 8/26 release and will feature five chapters culminating in an LP.

On “Cadillac,” she recounts the wounds from a freshly acquired heartbreak in a way that feels both empowering and profound.

“Staring at the TV like my brother just a cleaning my gun,” Logan quips in good-girl-gone-bad fashion.

“I want a boyfriend In every state , I want a long black Cadillac / It won’t matter about the things you hate because baby I ain’t coming back,” she howls in the song’s chorus.

Check out an interview with Logan below. She talks about her admiration for rising Nashville stars Margo Price and Nikki Lane, a love for “macabre and occult shit” and much more.

I feel like women have stolen the show this year in music. Or at the very least have put out a consistent collection of resonant records this year. Whether it be indie rock or alternative country, there have been so many uniquely profound female voices to release albums this year. Artists like Mitski for her record Puberty 2, Angel Olsen’s My Woman and Margo Price’s Midwest Farmer’s Daughter immediately come to mind and just scathe the surface. Are you particularly inspired or influenced by any contemporary musicians or records that have been released recently?

Kim Logan: During my formative years in Nashville, I toured and played with both Margo and Nikki Lane, and learned a lot from both.  Both women inspired and educated me in their own way during their rise to success — I could never replace that knowledge and experience from either!  I’m glad I got the chance to learn from women in the business rather than men, who are so often handed what they have, and much earlier than we are.  
From listening to your music I can tell that you draw from everything from southern rock to blues to to indie to tinges of country that sound somewhat reminiscent of a much different bygone era. You don’t necessarily seem to perfectly fit into one single genre, in a way that sort of reminds me of prolific alternative country artist Lucinda Williams. How would you describe your sound? Constantly evolving?

Kim Logan: Constantly evolving” is definitely true.  There’s rock, psych, blues, country, soul, a ton of different things mixed up in what I do.  And lately I’ve just been listening to a lot of opera, hip hop, R&B, and then stoner metal like the Black Angels and Acid Witch.  So who knows what will come out of that.  I guess what I am really always trying to find is fusion, some kind of blend or juxtaposition.  

Seeing that you grew up in the south, I definitely notice tinges of southern gothic elements in your music. How much does your southern upbringing and experiences living in the south influence your artistry?

Kim Logan: I was actually brought up a snowbird, going to school in Florida and heading north every summer to New Hampshire.  Steven Tyler grew up the same way, which is think is cool, even in the same town in New Hampshire.  It affords an artist a lot of time and space, and experience in different kinds of nature and around different types of people.  Both the coast of Florida and the Lakes region of New Hampshire are tourist meccas, seasonal people, sort of half-transient people.  It definitely influenced my need to travel and draw from both areas for inspiration.  The gothic thing just comes from my love of macabre and occult shit, be it Northern or Southern.  I love Cormac McCarthy and I also love HP Lovecraft… they’re both equally American and horrifying.  

I’ve found two recent song releases of yours, “Neighborhood,” and “Cadillac,” to be extremely catchy and empowering kiss-offs. These songs seem to be pretty autobiographical, touching on heartbreak, but not in a mournful tone. When you are a penning a confessional song that is drawing from painful life experiences, how therapeutic is it to get the hurt on pen and paper, then into music in the studio?

Kim Logan: I think this is kind of a chicken or the egg thing.  Artistic people often have tumultuous personal lives… is this because our temperament attracts this, or because our creativity seeks out the chaos for inspiration?  I don’t know.  But yes, writing is how I get through things… I think that’s the case with all of us.  When a song is done it feels like I’ve taken something tangible out of my body and released it into the wild… like it’s not weighing me down anymore.  

Can you talk about what we can expect sonically and thematically on Pseudoscience: Chapter 1? How many chapters can we expect?

Kim Logan: Pseudoscience will have 5 chapters, and once they’re all finished it will become a really magical LP with a lot of art and a poetry collection.  Through the lenses of my 3 producers I hope to still link you through, keep you coming back to the themes of magic and the occult, female empowerment, energy and spirituality, quantum theory, personal freedom, sexual freedom, the state of the earth and the human experience.  Love has always been the message.  

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