Q&A: Local singer-songwriter Brad Senne

Categories: Q&A
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Photo by Elli Rader
With each subsequent album, Beight frontman Brad Senne seems to develop his songwriting craft exponentially. Although the breathy indie-pop that filled Beight's full-length album, File in Rhythm, was nothing to scoff at, Senne's newest solo album, Aerial Views, is the work of an artist who has found his voice. The songs swell from simple acoustic guitar ballads into lush instrumental arrangements, recalling other soft spoken singer-songwriters like Elliot Smith or Minnesota's own Jeremy Messersmith. Simply put, Aerial Views is a must-own album for fans of indie folk, and it's a highly listenable album that can be played again and again without wearing out its welcome.

In preparation for his CD release show for Aerial Views this Friday, Senne agreed to answer a few questions about his new album and his singing and songwriting talent.

Your voice has become much more confident and expressive in the last few years. Have you taken voice training lessons, or has it just developed as you sing more and make more albums?

Yes I did take some vocal lessons about 4 years ago. I don't really concentrate on the techniques anymore though. I just feel like the more you practice and sing the better you sound. 
 
How long have you been writing songs? What was your first song about?

I've been actively writing songs for about 9 years now. First song?? Hmmmm... I really can't remember but I'm sure it was about the sun or water. 

The production on Aerial Views is beautiful -- haunting and sparse at times, lush at others. Did you approach this album differently than your others? How did you achieve this sound?

Thanks!  The approach was way different than any other recording I've been apart of. I did all the tracking and mixing on the album and Ben Durrant of Crazy Beast Studios did the mastering. I initially wanted Aerial Views to be a 'solo acoustic album' but some songs just needed more embellishments on them so I ended up adding more instrumentation to the songs. I just basically added what I thought the song needed to hold it's own. 

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Who did the artwork for Aerial Views

My wonderful and talented girlfriend Jennifer Davis did the art work. She shows around Mpls all the time so go check her stuff out.

Are you still actively playing with your band, Beight?

At the moment Beight is on hiatus but I wouldn't count us out yet. I still hang out with those guys all the time. I'm just focusing on the plethora of songs I have that I want to record. 
 
Where can people see you play next? 

Next show is the CD release party at the Kitty Cat Klub on Friday May 29. It's gonna be an acoustic filled evening with Ballast opening, Unguided (acoustic set) next and I'm gonna round off the night. Ben Durrant (Roma di Luna) will be playing guitar and Ryan Lovan (Roma di Luna) will be drumming with me at the show. I'm really looking forward to playing with those guys. It's gonna be a blast!

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