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Q&A with Leah Flanagan

Darwin born Leah Flanagan cut her teeth as a singer-songwriter playing in venues like the Ski Club, Dinah Beach Yacht Club and Happy Yess. Now living interstate, this up and coming performer is in demand across the country. But she hasn’t forgotten her roots and is returning to Darwin to launch her latest album Saudades. Off The Leash recently caught up with Flanagan ahead of her homecoming in November.

Interview with Chelsea Heaney.

What has the last five years been like for you?

The past five years have seen me relocate from Darwin to Sydney. I’ve been working for festivals and in the Indigenous arts sector and have spent a lot of time in the studio writing, recording and learning more about the recording process, now that I have access to studios and producers.

You are coming back to Darwin to launch your new album Saudades. How does that feel for you?

It’s always lovely to play for the home crowd and the people that have known you since you were a kid. Darwin is tough to get to logistically so I try and cram in as much family and friends time as possible.

What can your fans expect from your new album?

The new album is more slick and produced than anything I’ve done previously. It’s also my move to electric guitar, which features heavily across the album. The band I was working with was incredible and gave the arrangements a whole new life. It was great working with players that were so damn good because I found it brought out the quality of my playing and performance. Three of the tracks are full live takes and everything you hear is a live instrument. Most of the tracks were recorded in one weekend at Jim Moginie’s studio, with additional tracking done gradually as more ideas came to fruition.

Do you miss Darwin?

I live in Sydney these days and I love it. I do miss Darwin though. I miss the lifestyle and my family and friends that know me the best. It’s all good though – I come back regularly.

What effect has Darwin had on your music style?

Darwin kept my initial writing and singing style quite raw. When I was playing around town there wasn’t, or hadn’t been – a testament to organisations like Music NT I must say – much exposure to the wider music industry so we just made it up as we went along with no expectations. Leaving Darwin, I am more focussed on a long career as a songwriter and musician. I practise more, I write more, I collaborate more and have access to like-minded players and studios. I’ve always been at home as a performing artist and I have Darwin to credit for that.

Flanagan will be joined by the renowned Adam Pringle on guitar and supported by 2015 NT Song of the Year winner Broadwing. 

Click here for the event listing.

Sat 19 Nov, 7pm | Railway Club | $20 Presale, $25 Door | leahflanagan.com 

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