Logan Archer is a /mu/tant who creates homemade folk/rock/post-rock influenced things. I sound like Elliott Smith with less double-tracked harmonies, more experimentation and more reverb. My website is http://loganarcher.bandcamp.com
- recordings. (EP). (released November 26, 2011) A simple affair. Seven tracks in 27 minutes, recorded on a Rock Band mic using Audacity when I was 15. Still a bit ambitious, and one of my personal favorite releases of mine. http://loganarcher.bandcamp.com/album/recordings-ep
- Covers (EP) (released August 9, 2012) I did a self-imposed challenge for about a month in which I recorded one cover per day and posted the results on Facebook for feedback. It was fun, and I decided to pick the best ones and make an EP out of it. http://loganarcher.bandcamp.com/album/covers-ep
- Charts/Memories (released November 22, 2012, pictured) A good friend of mine asked me to record an instrumental album of background music for a favor. Simple. Well, instead of something simple, I ended up creating something thematic and concept-driven, a concept album about fond memories that included tracks I had written in different locations (for example, "In Japan" was written in Japan, and so on). Influenced largely by Jim O'Rourke's album Bad Timing as well as Erik Satie and Brian Eno's Music for Airports. http://loganarcher.bandcamp.com/album/charts-memories
- Cycles (released March 9, 2013, pictured) This album went through many phases and names and well over thirty tracks recorded over a year before becoming a finished product. I put as much sonic diversity as I could into this thing, taking influence from folk, ambient, 60s pop, post-rock, and alt-country to create what I consider the creative peak of my bedroom days. As usual, this album was recorded on iPad for GarageBand and I played every instrument. http://loganarcher.bandcamp.com/album/cycles
- The Interim (released October 13, 2013) Comprised of a handful of outtakes from Cycles and some new/old stuff that I didn't see going much of anywhere. Named after the circumstances regarding its release, this one stays roughly in the same sonic territory as Cycles with a little more experimentation in IDM, post-rock, and indie rock influences. http://loganarcher.bandcamp.com/album/the-interim
Logan Archer – Cycles
The album cover of Logan Archer’s latest album, Cycles, is a great reflection of the music contained with it. Written on a page of notebook paper, the poetry that you’ll hear scattered throughout the album is sprawled out in a outward spiraling circle. It’s a beautiful image. It’s somewhat difficult to follow visually, but the idea is simple as well as creative, and it sets up a theme that the album plays off of in it’s entirety. Yet the image also hints at a major shortcoming that permeates the album; some of it’s best ideas have amateur execution.
This doesn’t make it an album not worth listening to, especially for fans of the vocal stylings of Phil Elverum, key member in Mount Eerie (previously known as The Microphones), or perhaps Sufjan Stevens. Archer’s voice is timid where others err towards strength. While this decision is not necessarily tailored to just anybody’s taste, there is a niche that finds comfort in the fact that somebody out there is willing to externalize the quite pain that aches throughout much of the human race. Nobody feels confident and secure all the time, and this album is focused on feelings quite the opposite. It’s riddled with insecurities and emotional fatigue.
Ironically, the songs that indulge in these emotions confidently end up being the most satisfying, highlights being Mary, Cycles (Part 2), album closer Goodbye. Somehow each of these songs sound like Archer has come to terms with his insecurities, and is fully willing to expose them. On the contrary, the tracks that seem self conscious about the fact that he may be, well, self conscious fall short. For Once in My Life, Breeding Atheists, and Enough (When Love Splits), being the worst culprits, they leave you wanting for the same song with a more sure footed performance. The odd ball out, Shiver, Go, Stay, ends up completely ignoring the tone of the rest of the album in a feigned attempt at a casual love song. It feels as though Archer begrudgingly wrote a single to appeal to a broader audience that doesn’t want to think about the painful side of life, and it ends up being the weakest track on the album.
On the up side, the album is sprinkled with beautiful instrumentals that may even steal the show. Opening track Cycles is a haunting exploration of shifting sounds and notes, all tied together with a mallet line that does end up making the listener feel like he or she is swirling in cycles. Rivers (A Short Little Ballad) has its charm as well but isn’t as memorable as the opener or Lost In My Thoughts. The penultimate track is a great set up for the closure one wants to feel towards the end of an album. It’s a slow burner. The guitar gradually gains momentum in lockstep with the rhythm section as they boil together in a painful yet satisfying build, as it screeches itself into submission to the passionate sorrow the album portrays as a whole. Great stuff.
Yes, this album has its weak points, and maybe a few very weak points, but in the end the good outweighs the bad. For those who relate to heartbrokenness, or who want to revisit pains for the past, you’ll find generally good company here. Logan Archer’s Cycles is as imperfect as a man with a broken heart tends to be. If he can improve upon the promising aspects of his music with his next release with more consistent performances, it will be an album to look out for.