Logan Ledger released his self-titled debut album “Logan Ledger” on April 3rd. From the first listen, the album feels like it sprang from a different place in time. Ledger’s gentle vocals and earnest tone harkens back to the jukebox era when you could drop in a coin and hear Orbison sing “Only the Lonely” or Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Indeed, Ledger effectively channels the heartbreak and contemplative broodings of artists of a bygone era: Carl Smith, Roy Orbison, Buck Owens, and even Mississippi John Hurt.
However, Ledger’s traditional tone should not be mistaken for conventionality. Ledger’s lyrics speak to modern fixations and concerns, and many elements of his album reveal his work to be on the cutting edge. Both “I Don’t Dream Anymore” and the introspective “Nobody Knows” speak, in a metaphorical sense, to internal anxieties that often don’t manifest themselves on the surface, but many people can relate to. Another fantastic introspective song on the record is the cheeky “(I’m Gonna Get Over This) Some Day,” a pragmatic song about getting over heartbreak.
Over the course of the album, Ledger takes his time to tell his story; the average song length comes in at almost exactly four minutes. In our modern times, many listeners might not have the patience to listen to eleven songs of that length, but Ledger pulls you into his orbit. From the opening song, “Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me,” you get the sense that you are going to embark on a sonic adventure: a trip to a world of forgotten blue eyed-soul records and rockabilly and countrypolitan nostalgia. Ultimately, I think Ledger’s alternate universe is a welcome change in 2020. Ledger appears moored by the sensibilities of many of the great country and rock ‘n’ roll artists and driven by his own desire to tell his stories. Perhaps the greatest illustration of Ledger’s distinctive perspective is “The Lights Of San Francisco,” the penultimate song on the album. The song begins with airy pedal steel and a beautiful lyrical image: “raindrops shine like diamonds on my window / moonlights spills like silver ‘cross the floor.” Ledger goes on to share his perspective, a view of the bay where he watches ships and laments his state of despondency amidst “the lights of San Francisco.”
Indeed, many of Ledger’s songs convey a sense of lethargy and timeworn grief. There’s a certain darkness to Ledger’s record, but it is matched with a glimpse of resilience. Even though Ledger’s lyrics will make you feel some level of anguish and sadness, you get the sense he won’t stop telling his stories. The final song on the album is perhaps the greatest indication of this sentiment. In “Imagining Raindrops,” Ledger talks about looking out the window on a sunny day and imagining raindrops. He muses, “I’m wondering where you are / if you still love me / and I’m imagining raindrops / the world I see I don’t believe.” This final phrase, which Ledger repeats again at the close of the song, is emblematic of his lyrical voice. The world may be one way, but he’s always going to see it differently. Ultimately, this ethos is what provides us with the refreshing debut album, “Logan Ledger.” It’s well worth the listen, and we’ll be following Ledger as he continues on his artistic journey.
Written by Brennan White