Emma Logan isn't a pop fan, but she's somehow wound up making pop music anyway.

When I suggest the music she makes under her pop moniker October is something between Sleigh Bells and Taylor Swift, her reaction is complete surprise - and not the good kind.

"I'll be honest, I really don't like Taylor Swift," she says, but her pop style is something she's had to come to terms with.

"The music that I listen to and the people I'm surrounded by, we're all listening to these weird, left-of-centre, post-punk rock bands, and I'm making this pop music and I guess it felt like a temporary identity crisis," she admits.

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"But if you listen to the bands, what makes them fit into that genre is the production. The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees - if you strip away the production or the instrumentation, the actual writing is like, this is just a great pop song."

So that's what she's leaned into. Having signed with Universal Music and Page 1 Management, Logan was able to spend the past year focusing on music and figuring out what she's about.

Her debut album Ultra Red is due for release tomorrow, and she's written and produced every track on it herself, so she can still write pop songs but put her own industrial twist on them.

"I would hate for it to sound like a sugary, bubblegum pop song. I'm fine writing in that genre but the production has to be me - it has to be weird and heavy and abrasive," she says.

"There are songs which are quite light and bubbly with those bubblegum, sickly sweet textures but then they're juxtaposed against these incredibly harsh, metallic percussive sounds."

Her writing takes on a similar juxtaposition as she delves into everything from her struggle with anxiety and depression, to love songs.

"I'm always reluctant to write love songs, but there's a couple, there's no denying that. I guess it's just a snapshot of a day in the life of a 20-something coming to grips with early adult disenchantment," says the 21-year-old.

When Logan's simple response to how she's enjoying these freedoms is, "I don't like being told what to do", I suggest there's never been a better time for a young woman to challenge the status quo.

She replies: "The industry's changed and bigwigs who used to puppeteer it all have realised that young people do know what's best sometimes and, for me, it's been about creating something that I enjoy.

"And I know that it's probably not going to be a popular record in terms of commercial success - I hope it does okay and people like it, but I'm aware that it's not going to be a 1989 smash hit, but that's fine because I didn't compromise and that feels good."

LOWDOWN:
Who: October (Emma Logan)
What: Debut EP Ultra Red
When: Out tomorrow