Logan Brill sings songs like they were stamped on her heart at birth. Listen. You’ll hear. The youthful singer-songwriter delivers heartache (“Rewind”) and hope (“Write It on Your Heart”) as naturally as breathing.
Brill sings what she knows. She does it well. Clear evidence: Walking Wires. The Nashville resident’s stunning debut braces earthy (“Tricks of the Trade”) and ethereal narratives (“Fall Off the Face of the Earth”) with storytelling as sharp as a seasoned artist. Equal measures edge (“Seven Year Rain”) and energy (“Month of Bad Habits”) back lyrical elegance throughout. Her sincerity shines. “Logan’s is not just a pretty voice,” says Mando Saenz, Brill’s Carnival Records label mate and occasional co-writing partner. “She has a very honest voice that touches people when they hear it.”
Brill wears emotions on her sleeve. “When it’s over some hearts turn to stone/even when the pain is gone,” she sings over mournful guitars on the album’s high watermark “Scars.” “Me, I nearly fell apart/Yeah, yours will be the deepest scar.” Her wounds are palpable. “That’s one of the first songs I co-wrote that I was really happy with,” she says. “It’s about love being like a loaded gun. You know someone’s gonna get hurt but you go into it anyway. I had recently gone through a breakup of a relationship that lasted three years and I really related to the idea.”
Folks notice. “I hear elements of what I enjoy from artists like Pink, Sheryl Crow and Martina McBride,” says Grammy-winning engineer and producer Richard Dodd. “Her style sounds fluid, experienced and in control. Logan obviously understands the songs she sings, which is why her performance is convincing. She’s chosen songs wisely and the record is a perfect vehicle for her.” “Logan’s absolutely amazing,” echoes fellow Carnival songwriter Troy Jones. “She has a voice that makes me close my eyes and just listen.”
Brill sings about love and loss and dreams fleeting and fulfilled. She imagines her heart inside out and pinned to her skin. Curiosity takes her down dark avenues and through thick emotional shadows. “I’m generally an extremely happy person,” the Knoxville native says with a laugh. “I only have very few days a year that I’m down, but I’m really into depressing music. I’m really into music that’s intimate in that sense, even if it’s something that I’ve never experienced before. I’m drawn to the level of depth that you don’t get in upbeat songs.”
Brill’s clearly an old soul, a woman wise well beyond her years. She’s a witty conversationalist whose breezy demeanor and easy smile only allow her soul’s reach when pressed. “I’m pretty young to be singing about some of this stuff, but I’m still drawn to it,” says 22-year-old, who’s fluent in French. “I really like putting myself into that mindset because it’s not necessarily an everyday thing to be brooding. It’s interesting to put myself into those situations in songs and experience things that way, trying to get into a character. I enjoy drama every once in a while.”
Emotional upheaval certainly fuels the most gritty (“Ne’er Do Wells”) and haunting songs (“No Such Thing As Ghosts”) on Walking Wires. Brill sifted through stacks and stacks before the collection ultimately took shape. “It was a long time coming,” she says. “We’ve been picking really good song content for the last year and a half, songs that I either wrote in a time when they were really relevant to me or a song that I felt really connected to. We tried out a ton of different stuff. We thought each of the songs had something really special about it.”
Take Patty Griffin’s “Nobody’s Crying.” Brill’s seamlessly poetic phrasing spotlights a thoughtful interpreter both engaged and engaging. She simply embodies every line. “I’ve listened to Patty forever and she’s such an inspiration to me as a female artist,” Brill says. “I love her stuff. I think that song just has such a level of emotion to it in a really lyrically creative way. It really just fit with everything else. There’s definitely a lot of emotion in all these songs.”