Leah Senior Sucks: “I’m The Kind Of Undiscerning Person Who Gets Swindled All The Time”
Australian-based folk artist Leah Senior’s new album, The Music That I Make, is an album that, at its core, is about creating art.
Across the project’s 10 songs, Leah unpacks the emotions and experiences that surround sharing your innermost thoughts with the world. It’s meta commentary that never feels self-indulgent — instead, it’s almost certainly going to inspire many to finally get over the fear of sharing their art with the world. I’ve seldom heard a more accurate summary of what being a creative truly means to someone than this verse from the album’s opening/title track: “And I get put out by the music business/But I’m grateful to the people who come along and listen/I’m getting older and I’ll never stop/In fact I’m more dedicated though I keep working my day job”.
To mark the release of The Music That I Make, I caught up with Leah to chat about an incident with criminals posing as RACV, trusting your inner creative compass and diving head-first down esoteric YouTube rabbit holes. This might annoy some readers, but I don’t know how to change a tyre, so I’ve had a few encounters with RACV during my time. I put my trust in them — because it seems unfathomable that someone’s driving around impersonating them. But after this, I’m going to be more vigilant. It would absolutely suck if that’s how I parted ways with my car.
Junkee: A mistake that turned into an opportunity?
After playing a show one night I went to meet a friend for a drink at a bar but absentmindedly went to the wrong pub. I ended up meeting King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard that night which led to me releasing music on [their record label], Flightless, making some great friends and a few collaborations as well.
Cringe quote you used to live by?
I don’t know that I used to live by this but I did once have a loft bed that my dad built for me and I painted either “break on through to the other side” or “the time to hesitate is through” on the wood and thought it was pretty edgy.
Worst advice you got and blindly followed?
I’m the kind of undiscerning person who gets swindled all the time. I once let criminals drive my car away thinking that they were RACV.
The worst failure you’re up for sharing, and what you learned from it?
I would say just not listening to my heart with certain creative decisions and being afraid of letting myself be me. I think I’ve learnt to be more self-accepting and trust my own creative compass as opposed to trying to please.
Anything you used to be wrong about?
I’m someone who has a lot of strong opinions that are often incorrect. I used to argue Chris Bell was better than Alex Chilton [both Big Star members]. I now believe them to be equal.
Embarrassing internet habit?
Aah my YouTube is pretty esoteric. I get targeted with Gaia advertisements if that tells you anything. Recent searches include Irish dancing, Euleusinian mysteries and near-death experiences.
Ideal morning routine versus actual morning routine?
I love mornings. My ideal morning routine would go forever. Tea, reading, yoga, meditation, morning pages, piano, guitar, walk and swim in the beach. Realistically I sit in bed for half an hour drinking two cups of tea, reading or chatting, then I do a bit of yoga and play some piano.
Something very off-brand for you?
Sometimes when I get to get together with another folk singer, I’ll call her G, we bring out this really jock side in each other. I’m ashamed to say that one New Year’s we got so hyped that we spear tackled a stranger yelling “stacks on this guy”.
Bad health decision?
I’ve got a sweet tooth. Everything must be hidden. And I’m very sensitive to sugar so I end up jumping up and down on the bed chanting and rapping instead of sleeping.
What do you waste money on?
Mistakes. I genuinely find shopping really tedious. If I have to buy something online I never pay attention to the details and rush through. I always end up getting it wrong, like buying a tiny teapot or a moveable tray on wheels for my paints that is only 20cm high.
Worst procrastination habit?
I stare into space playing with my hair in a way that makes it really tangled.
Leah Senior’s new album The Music That I Make is out now.
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Illustration credit: Matt Lauricella, @pigeonboyart