Jun 22, 2022
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Desmond Picotte
Legwurk is the solo moniker of multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Tani Kahn. Kahn has spent years on the road as the guitarist, bassist, and keys player for indie pop musician Still Woozy, but over the pandemic she began releasing tastes of her solo work, debuting in 2020 and 2021 with a string of singles that were sharply melodic, eclectic, and unapologetically queer. Today, she’s back with her newly released debut EP, i have a bad memory.
With i have a bad memory Kahn easily slides into the same vein as other burgeoning indie pop acts like Hot Chip, Glass Animals, Claud, or her other band, Still Woozy, crafting a style that pulls from synth pop, chillwave, and dance pop in equal measure. Kahn’s style proves to be more subtle and subdued than some of her contemporaries, but she also delivers plenty of infectious hooks and delightfully tactile production. These elements bring the EP a gently euphoric feel, even as Kahn’s lyrics unpack pain, heartbreak, and loss.
That euphoria is instantly apparent on opener “Tatiana,” a song that reflects on Kahn’s childhood journey through gender dysphoria. Even with its deeply confessional core, the track is a perfect marriage of digital futurist production, infectious guitar work, and playful syncopated rhythms. Meanwhile, other tracks like the spacey synthwave of “ Panic” or soulful harmonies of “Deep and Down” offer laid back vibes and nocturnal detours, bringing a more introspective edge to the EP’s dazzling neon lights. After a brief interlude, Kahn dives into the insistent rhythms and pulsing synths of “Night Gown,” offering a low-key vision of dancefloor-ready synth pop before crafting a beautifully swaying ballad with “Holding Back.” Finally, the record closes out on the lush auto-tuned sonics found on “Sour PK” and the dance funk and hip hop-tinged production of the closing track, “Exit Quietly.”
On the EP, Kahn shares, ”I called this EP, I have a bad memory because I easily forget things except for the really really BAD stuff. The last two years have been intense, and these songs are my way of processing all those experiences and working through the bad memories. I moved to Brooklyn, fell in love with the wrong person, had a surgery with a really tough recovery, experienced panic attacks for the first time in my life, and lost some friends too early. I also stopped getting misgendered, met some amazing queer artists, got to perform all over the world, created my most vulnerable work yet, and felt my little gay heart opening up again. All these songs are about overcoming pain and relying on seasons changing. While the songs do have a sad undertone, I hope they make people dance, feel more confident and beautiful.”
Check out the full EP below, out everywhere now. You can also read our exclusive Q&A with Tani Kahn here.
Hey Tani! We love this EP, you must be so proud of it. How does it feel for it to be out in the world?
Thank you so much. I’m very excited to share these songs with people. They are the most authentic songwriting and production I’ve ever done. This EP feels the most ‘me’ of any of the work I’ve done so far.
Could you tell us about your creative process and how this EP came together?
This EP is a therapeutic release for me. When I’m not touring or working on the road, I come home sit in my studio and produce. It is the most calming and comforting thing for me to do. These songs are a product of my time “off”. When I’m processing all my feelings and experiences they show up in my music. I’ve experienced a lot of change and growth over the last few years, and that definitely shows up in the sounds on this EP.
Who are some of your main sonic influences?
I’m really influenced by hip-hop and R&B groups and production as well as Folk and indie music. I’m drawn to Glass Animals, Bon Iver, Still Woozy, Remi Wolf. Most inspired by my friends – especially Claud and Remi.
How has touring and playing in Still Woozy’s band influenced you and your sound?
I think it’s been really amazing to see how Woozy’s songs translate live and how people experience the music live. I think the songwriting of Still Woozy is so wonderful and I feel so excited to be a part of bringing them to life live. Woozy has inspired me to write music that feels accessible and relatable and emotional, and not as complicated and techinical as music I’ve written before. I’m interested in in writing music that has my own stamp on it that is experimental and gay and fun and silly and sad and all that.
Lastly—what’s next for all things Legwurk?
Lots of touring -international too- with Still Woozy. I’ve already started on the next EP, and I’m really excited for what is to come.