As October, 20-year-old New Zealand musician and producer Emma Logan writes electronic pop music that drinks deeply from the rich histories of hardcore, industrial, new wave, and post-punk.
Within her expansive productions, shades of Siouxsie Sioux, Patti Smith, Bauhaus, Blondie, The I.L.Y’s, Death Grips, and The Jesus and Mary Chain blur together. Intertwined, they emerge as euphoric-but-biting songs, which while dressed in abrasive, harsh and distorted aesthetics, never lose sight of the dancefloor or the playful melodies of classic pop.
These qualities are at the forefront throughout her new single ‘Pure’, co-produced by Alex Wildwood. Delivered with the energy of a full-scale riot, ‘Pure’ is an anthemic ode to the contractions of life, and the desire to, in the heat of the moment, want to have it both ways. Wrapped up in an explosive synth-pop beat, it takes the exhilaration and chaos of October’s influences and transforms them into an energetic frenzy all her own.
Growing up in the South Island town of Blenheim, October took full advantage of her teenage years to hone her creative skills, while also studying her heroes and heroines. After high school, October headed to Wellington, where she briefly attended music school, before dropping out to pursue music and art, not just on her terms, but in her way.
“What really draws me to a musician is not only the music they make, but them as individuals, and how that encompasses or spills over into their art,” she explains. “I see music as a projected version of a musician.” After realising this, October knew what she needed to do. “Everything I make sonically and visually needs to be an honest reflection of me, what I like, and what I don’t like.”
October’s ethos came into clarity with the release of her first commercial single ‘Cherry Cola’ and its accompanying music video. Celebrated by i-D, NME, Oyster Mag, and New Zealand’s art pop icon Lorde, ‘Cherry Cola’ showed that October’s equal footed love of pop culture and the avant-garde could live together in harmony, and connect well beyond the counterculture. More importantly, it opened the door for the musical exhilaration and chaos she seeks. “It was the first step into the sound I’m currently exploring,” she reflects.
As ‘Cherry Cola’s buzz built, October began scoring support and touring slots alongside Broods, Maala, Lontalius and Young Lean, and pushing her live performance to new levels. Invigorated, she started spending time in recording studios from Auckland to Los Angeles, learning tricks of the trade from the likes of Alex Wildwood, Joel Little, and Thom Powers (of The Naked & Famous), while further refining her aesthetic. “The modern day pop persona just doesn’t really appeal to me,” she says. “It’s too glossy and polished. I like a little bit of rough around the edges.”
Focused and poised, October is now more than ready to share her singular vision with a steadily growing audience around the globe, and when the time is right, bring it all home with the stadium-sized scope of her songs.