“It’s pop, but it’s also noise. People who are into noise are into the noise aspect and people who are into electronic pop are into that aspect. I like that about it.” Brooklyn artist Eleanor Logan is explaining to me her latest project, Happy New Year, and just what kind of attention it’s been garnering. Happy New Year, the first solo project of Logan’s [formerly partaking in Austrailia’s (Yes, she is originally from there.) punk and garage scenes], released her self-titled, debut LP stateside earlier this week as a limited color 12-inch, courtesy of Crikey! Records.
The album was released earlier this year, internationally, on French boutique label SVN SNS RCRDS and the project has done quite a bit of touring recently in Australia, the states, Europe, and, most recently, a number of somewhat charmingly quirky gigs around NYC: “I’m getting a lot of offers to play in really weird spaces and events, which is so awesome.” In fact, this Friday she’s playing a show at the Museum of Art and Design for the Babycastles Summit. Like her studio recording, the live “setup,” includes Logan all on her lonesome, accompanied by a sampler and a 5-string guitar: “Part of the way I have designed the setup is to be able to play in any place. It will still be the same set, but with a different vibe, depending on the setup.”
While the sounds of Happy New Year are certainly pretty, like much pop, and it does embody a certain dissonance, like noise, it’s not exactly how would have pegged the sound. It rings strongly of the darkest and most lo-fi examples of 80s post-punk, most prominently ethereal wave. It’s quite explicitly foreboding, in an other-worldy manner. While Logan is responsible for all of the musicianship herself, unlike the often vast bands of the 80s channeling a sonic Gothicism, but it’s far from apparent as the sounds she does produce prove to be epically daunting. Not surprisingly, after fumbling for a minute to cite what are actually her biggest inspirations, Logan tells me, “There’s like mysteries about like being alive and energy that are kind of overwhelming… I like things that overwhelm the senses.”
However, despite her latest output and sentiments such as this, Logan is more upbeat than you would imagine. She tells me that her solo moniker actually comes from the fact that her birthday is on New Year’s Eve, which she appreciates because it makes it easy to get a party going: “I like it. It’s nice. It’s a night everybody likes to celebrate and be out.” And when I asked her about what have been her highlights of 2012, she responded, “I did my first European tour, which was amazing and my first solo album was released but, I have a lot of fun all the time. I mean, this [the music career] is all really exciting, but I love just hanging out with friends.”
Eleanor Logan plans to spend the rest of 2012 both touring and recording. She’s got a second European tour booked in October, followed by one Australian show. However, it is the writing and recording that she seems to be most excited about: “I’ve been working on more music. Working in a recording studio this summer and learning a lot more about the studio and having tools that I don’t necessarily always have at my fingertips. I’m really excited to get back from Europe.”