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My 11th studio album SOFTCORE is being released by Kill Rock Stars one week from today!

Pre-orders have already started shipping but it’s not too late to pick up a copy of the CD, digital, or limited edition vinyl editions.

GET SOME.

ABOUT THE RECORD, FROM KILL ROCK STARS:
“Old-fashioned” would not be the first word one would use to qualify Logan Lynn. Perhaps “exuberant”, “creative”, “emotional”, or “cheeky”, as his upbeat brand of synth-rock-pop, which he has been pumping out in just about every-sized venue in America for the past 25 years, is decidedly fresh and new. And still, “old-fashioned” is how the 44-year-old singer-songwriter-producer describes himself: not his music, mind you, but his approach to love and relationships. His new full-length album, the bold and heartfelt SOFTCORE, came to be in the wake of a particularly tumultuous union, and while the record eschews all the clichéd trappings of the common break-up album, it does serve as a road-map of sorts, a way for Logan to navigate his way back to his emotional roots.

“This record doesn’t seem old-fashioned at all, but I’m kind of old-fashioned,” says Logan. “In the sense that, I believe in love. I’m a unicorn monogamy guy, that’s just how I’m wired. I think I have spent many, many years grieving the idea of a life that I wanted for myself, and there have been several attempts where that almost happened, and then the loss of that–getting it and then losing it–in some ways has felt worse than just the idea that I’m not going to ever have it.”

SOFTCORE, as its title suggests, creates a world halfway between tenderness and sweaty abandon. Across its 11 tracks, Logan Lynn’s 11th studio album chronicles all aspects of his love affairs, from the dark days of strife to the moments of life-affirming intimacy. While many of the songs pull from the alt-rock heroes of Logan’s youth (he name drops Weezer and Liz Phair as cornerstone influences), the lyrics tell a different story — one of a man trying to make sense of, and ultimately triumph in, his romantic existence.

“I think loneliness is a throughline for all of us Queer people at some point,” Logan explains. Musically and thematically, SOFTCORE is a very Queer record; not just in its autobiographical content, but in the way it uses bubbly synths and power-pop guitar riffs to tell a deeper, more meaningful story. “The idea of finding somebody to connect with means so much to me as a Queer person, maybe more than it does to a straight person. I don’t know because I’ve never been straight,” he laughs. “But I do feel like connection is hard. So even though I think, in retrospect, that I’ve learned something from each relationship, I also think that I’ve lost something with each lost relationship. I’ve been very selective about who I’m with — so those relationships ended up lasting a while, and then they’re all marked with these sad albums.”

Sad, maybe a little, but not hopeless. As introspective as it might be, SOFTCORE is brimming with earworms, the sort of pop songs that sound effortless, but actually take a lifetime of intricate, witty, and layered songwriting to pull off. “I Feel Alone When I’m With You” is a perfect example of this deft balancing act. While the lyrics tell a story of finally standing on your own two feet after spending too long in a bad relationship, musically, the song is a driving synth-pop banger that’s equal parts head-bop and heart-stop. “When you look at my catalog, the thing that I have historically always tried to do is acknowledge that what I’m singing with these lips is not what everyone wants to hear, think about, or look at,” says Logan. “Putting that in a vehicle that helps the medicine go down has been my thing since day one. ‘I Feel Alone When I’m With You’ is a song about getting my personal agency back. It’s a song of resolve. Of like, ‘Fuck you, I could be alone in the woods and have a better time than being in this car with you right now, belittling me or making me feel like I don’t belong.’ The song is about me just taking my space back.”

This idea of self-resolve runs through the album: on almost every track, something can be gleaned about finding out more about yourself through heartbreak. “I’m trying to make something beautiful out of this really gnarly experience, you know?” explains Logan. “That’s what I’m always looking to do with these albums, unless I’m happy, which has only happened a couple of times. Usually, I want to take this messy feeling that I’m having in the midst of this messy experience, this sort of brokenheartedness or whatever it is, and transform that into something hopeful and joyful and danceable. For this record, there’s this sex-positive celebration of togetherness — tender, it’s soft, but it’s also angry. There’s a healing arc that happens where it’s like, ‘Okay, now we can fuck.’ It’s a lot of me kind of grappling with loss and also the idea that something new is around the corner, or something better is going to happen in the midst of this very unfortunate situation.”

Speaking of sex positivity, SOFTCORE’s lead single, brilliantly titled “I’m Just a Hole, Sir”, could almost serve as the record’s sexual core — its G-spot, if you will. The track kicks off with a thundering drum machine and a springy, breakneck bassline, until Logan’s vocals pierce through the fray, reclaiming his damaged sexuality one dom at a time. “‘I’m Just a Hole, Sir’ is me being mad, and reacting to having been hurt and betrayed and just me going out into the world,” Logan says, grinning. “I think post-relationship-screaming-into-the-void is how I would describe that song. The person I was with at the time felt uncomfortable with my music, and my history of public gayness, and I always felt judged by that. As I wrote these songs, I really unhinged myself from any idea that I needed to be a certain way for anyone else or be embarrassed about saying something like ‘I’m just a hole.’ In retrospect, I believe there have been times where I have held back in some ways in the past, and I think this time I was just like ‘fuck it and fuck you and also, fuck everything.’ I love a trauma response, and, you know, why not make it a horny one, as a treat?”

Like many gifted musicians, Logan has always used his songwriting as a way to cope with the ups-and-downs of life. Growing up in a fundamentalist Christian community that “hated gay people and only sang a capella” (“the preacher literally said one time, ‘If God wanted you to have an instrument, he would have put it on your body,’” he says, bemused), Logan writes songs melody and lyrics first, often singing hooks into his phone or computer. On SOFTCORE, his producing partner, Gino Mari, would then set the songs to music. As a result, each track on the record has an immediately recognizable hook — a feature that, again, drives home the album’s inherent danceability.

“Bet It All” is another album highlight that brings together all the interlocking aspects of Logan’s songwriting style. The record’s most ‘90s-indebted moment, “Bet It All” is a shiny, glamorous track, drenched in the kind of emotion that only true alienation can foster. The kind of sadness that burns brighter because it’s spray-painted pink and plastered in glitter. “This was about me grappling with the end of a relationship,” Logan says, a little somberly. “Seeking forgiveness for leaving, wanting the other person to want forgiveness for the betrayal, stating that I have laid it all on the line for this relationship, this person — and it didn’t really matter. Sometimes when I say ‘you’ in my songs, I’m really talking to myself. When I’m saying something like, ‘you know what you want, what you want is forgiveness,’ that’s about me.”

Interestingly, one of the most arresting songs on SOFTCORE is its first track, an aching cover of “To Be of Use” by Bill Calahan (Smog). Although the album’s quietest moment, it makes sense as an opener — its frankness and starkness prepare the listener for the truthbombs to come. ‘To Be of Use’ is my favorite song in the world, maybe of all time,” Logan says. “I just fucking love that song. It was put on a burned CD mixtape for me by someone I worked with at a vintage store in Portland a million years ago, and I listened to it over and over and over and over. I listened to it during a time in my life where I was really on drugs and not well, and then I continued to listen to it as I got well, and it has always meant something to me. I think it speaks to my own sexuality. It speaks to my own idea of intimacy. I feel seen by that song and by Bill Callahan’s writing. The idea that I would start the record off soft — uncomfortably soft — was on purpose.” The opening line, “Most of my fantasies are of/Making someone else cum,” hits like a ton of bricks, and could be seen as one of the core moods of SOFTCORE as a whole — the feeling of finding yourself through the experiences of those you love.

Alongside the album, Logan will release a film by the same name. Full of otherworldly costumes and experimenting with gender-bending, the videos add an extra layer to the entire SOFTCORE experience. “It’s a journey through solitude, a lot of me by myself out in different parts of Idaho, where we shot it,” explains Logan. “I worked with a couple of designers on the looks for the film and this whole era. The visual component was really important that it all had this feeling of being in the middle of nowhere, but also joy at the same time. Ultimately, I wanted it to feel expansive. It’s heavy on atmosphere. I wanted the songs to still be the story.”

“I also wanted to be very explicit about being feminine and masculine at the same time,” he continues. “All the visuals are very much me in a beard and a mustache, but also in a gown. I feel like a few times in my career there has been a push for me to be hard, or to become this weird macho gay thing, and I just have never been very good at that. This time, I didn’t even try for any of that. I’m definitely a dude but I also got called ‘girly’ a lot growing up. I like stuff that’s potentially more on the traditionally feminine spectrum around clothing and, obviously, the music that I listen to. There’s a freedom that I’ve allowed myself with this record, visually, and also with the openness of the lyrics, where it feels more honest in a lot of ways.”

With a title like SOFTCORE, you might assume that Logan is going straight for sexuality, but it’s about so much more than that. It’s about how warmth can make way for strength, how going through one of the hardest experiences of your life doesn’t have to make you hard. “‘SOFTCORE’ is not about pornography. It’s about me staying soft,” says Logan. ‘In the midst of this stuff that hardens us up as people, things that have historically sent me spiraling or sent me out to be in solitude, I want to stay soft, I want to stay open and sexy. It helped me not to bury so much of the stuff I was struggling with lyrically,” he continues. “There’s a lot more alignment around sound and story this time, more than in my past work. I feel more emboldened in a lot of ways — and I am very proud of figuring out a way to make love out of the whole thing: out of heartbreak or hate or betrayal, and ultimately to be able to still keep my eyes on love and light. Not to be like ‘live, laugh, love’ about the whole thing,” he chuckles, “but honestly, it was an unusual thing for me to stay in a space where I was open and not closed down. The record sounds like that: it sounds positive. It sounds pissed. It sounds horny. But in the end, I think it resolves in a way that feels genuinely hopeful. Like my life has.”

Category: Arts & Culture, Discography, Fashion, Gay Stuff, Kill Rock Stars, Logan Lynn, Movies and Film, Music, Music Videos, New Releases, News, Queer, Release Info, SOFTCORE, Style, Unbelievable Stuff, Uncategorized

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