The records of Aussie songwriter Leah Senior have picked at the curled edges of the current folk wave that culls from the Canyon Country years. She, more than many of her peers, truly embraces the spiraling introspection of Mitchell, King, Sill, and Crosby, though her wistfulness sometimes recalls the further flung shores of Bridget St. John and Sibylle Baier. Her first few albums dabbled with pop, falling just in the shadows of some of the ‘70s chasers of late, but on The Music That I Make, Senior shakes off any hint of pastiche. The core of the record is a meditation on creation — the call to create, the culture of art in the current age, and the crush of expectations unmet. The record opens like journal pages set to wind, and we’re all in debt to the pint of pain that Senior leaves on the page and between the reels of tape.
Between the fraying threads of the music industry and its detritus, Leah leaves time for love, revelation, and a journey back to oneself. As the lyrical veil lifts, her songwriting has become heavier. The strums that striped the last few records are submerged, and there’s a larger debt to the piano on The Music That I Make, letting the plaintive pound of keys underscore layered harmonies that hang on humid air. The smell of earth and rain rise up from the porch floorboards, but the record pulls tight like an heirloom blanket. It’s a buffer, if not a barrier. The sadness still soaks into the soul, but with Senior on the speakers, the light on the horizon somehow seems closer.
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