Although now based in Pyrmont Hayley Jensen is a country girl at heart having grown up on a property in the rural township of Bungendore, near Canberra. “I grew up riding horses and listening to my parents favourite music which was all of the old school country rock so I guess it got into my blood then.” explained Jensen.
Thankfully for Hayley she has found that country music isn’t such a taboo in Sydney as she had previously expected, “I thought people would cringe but what I’ve found is that there are a lot of closet country music fans out there.” Hayley credits this to crossover acts such as Keith Urban who have been making a style of music which falls somewhere between country and pop.
For Hayley finding this space musically was a long time coming for her, “It was awesome trying different things throughout the years but this feels like home, I feel like I’ve just hit my stride even though I’ve been doing it professionally for probably 13 years now.”
The 13 years of growth is clear in her latest EP, Past Tense & Present Peace as it grapples with the very contentious and confronting issues of domestic violence and abuse.
“I’ve always tried to be very honest with my writing but this EP in particular I really did peel back the layers and go to those places that I had been nervous to go to before as a younger writer.” explained Jensen before adding, “Especially in the country market I was a little bit concerned that people are perhaps a little more conservative and wouldn’t be open to tackling those issues but the positive response has been overwhelming.”
This weekend Hayley will be performing live at The Leadbelly which she described as “a gorgeous venue to play in” because it is setup with live music at the forefront.
“I can’t wait to get out and perform live because recording music is one thing but for me that connection with the live audience is such a precious and special thing. I love putting on intimate shows where you can look off the stage and see someone singing along with you that’s the ultimate feeling.”
Apr 9, 6:30pm. The Leadbelly, 42 King St, Newtown. $23.50+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.theleadbelly.com.au