Siena Larsson on ‘Useless Information’ and striving to “make people feel like they’re not alone”

North Queensland artist Siena Larsson swings by Happy for a deep-dive into Useless Information, overcoming heartbreak, and music as a healing force. 

Earlier this month we were gifted the Valentine’s Day treat that is Siena Larsson’s latest single Useless Information, but it’s not exactly the romantic gesture you might expect.

An ode to navigating the fraught complexities of a breakup, the track is a warm hug for those in the throes of heartbreak, brimming with twangy guitars and a melancholic pop sensibility. 

Siena Larsson

To get a better idea of how her craft is so well executed, we caught up with North Queensland’s Siena Larsson for an insightful yarn about music’s healing power, the creation of Useless Information, and why she strives to “make people feel like they’re not alone.”

Catch our full interview with Larsson below, and scroll down to listen to her new single Useless Information.    

HAPPY: What are you up to today?

SIENA: Actually I have a really fun day planned – I’m having coffee with my family before driving to the Gold Coast to record some vocals with some talented artist friends at a great little Gold Coast studio.

Then I’m headed for lunch (pizza of course) and after that will spend the afternoon on the beach, writing some songs and designing some artwork and content for my next release! YAY! Keep an eye out!

Siena Larsson

HAPPY: It’s been said that you “write music as free therapy.” What is it about the medium that is therapeutic for you?

SIENA: Well, I really love finding a song that explains exactly how I’m feeling or what I’m going through. I get goosebumps when I listen to a song that makes me feel like it was written just for me.

So, when I start writing I want to create something that does that. When I write music about myself and my experiences, it becomes something I can sing and listen to that helps me feel perfectly understood. It’s the easiest way for me to express how I’m feeling when sometimes I’m not sure or can’t find the words.

I start to play a chord progression and I’ll just start to sing and often the lyrics will just flow – it puts my feelings into a form I can understand and process. It really helps when I’m feeling down.

HAPPY: Your music also navigates the complexities of being a 20-something. Why is this age so ripe with musical potential?

SIENA: I don’t think anyone really knows what they’re doing at this age!!! I think we are all out there just trying to survive and thrive at the same time, and it can be hard.

It’s so important to make people feel like they’re not alone. I want everyone to know that the uncertainty and awkwardness and heartbreak is universal.

I think music is such a perfect way to explore everything that is ‘being in your 20’s’ and share it with the world. 


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HAPPY: What does a typical day look like when recording a song like Useless Information?

SIENA: Once I’ve finished writing a song, I’ll set up a studio session with my lovely friend and producer Luis Mateer. I’ll always grab us some coffee or snacks on the way and dress comfy for a big day in the studio.

I write most of my songs on the guitar, so we usually start with live recording some guitar parts and just setting up the structure of the song.

Once we have a structure we’ll record a scratch vocal – this might be my favourite part because a lot of the time, the scratch vocal ends up having a lot of beautiful parts in it that get used in the final mix.

I think when we first start recording vocals the emotions of the song are the most fresh and the meaning is really on the surface, so the rough vocal take is always especially raw and heart felt, and I love to include that vulnerability in the final mix.

Once the vocals are in, we start adding all the instrumentation and of course the sparkly bits – stacks and stacks of vocal harmonies and ad libs are my favourite additions.

Recording is a really fun collaborative creative process; one of my favourite parts of being a musician, apart from performing of course.

HAPPY: The meaning of the song packs a punch. What would say to a listener whose having trouble letting go of a relationship?

SIENA: That’s a big question, but if you are listening and you’re trying to let go of a relationship right now, I’m so sorry you’re going through that, but I’m also so proud of you.

It’s not easy to do but by letting go of something that’s not meant for you, you really will find something better. My advice (which inspired a recent song release actually – check it out it’s called Busy) is to keep yourself busy.

Do things, go places, even alone, buy flowers, explore, drink coffee on the beach and wake up at sunrise and spend time with people you love (and more importantly that love you too) and just do things, you know, just keep busy.

Romanticise the little things… they are the big things. 


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HAPPY: How do you find inspiration for the stories you tell with your music?

SIENA: Anyone who knows me could tell you exactly what (or… who) each song is written about. It just feels good to share honest and real details about my life in my music. 

I like to keep things specific, and paint clear pictures and I love a good metaphor that ties in to my experience.

I think the beauty of music is people are always going to interpret lyrics differently, but the more specific the idea, the more it connects us all to particular moments we’ve all experienced, and it can make us feel closer to each other.

Like in Useless Information where I talk about the issues with trying to mentally leave a bad relationship behind, I think we can admit and connect to the fact that we all remember the little things about our ex’s, their coffee order or their favourite movie, even though we know it’s completely useless info. 

I want anyone listening to my music to be able to listen and know what I went through and how I’m feeling, from the big issues to the most seemingly insignificant details – because I think in life, nothing is actually insignificant. 

HAPPY: Your music is broadly described as pop. Do you find genre to be a restrictive or liberating force?

SIENA: I do sometimes find genre to be restrictive. I don’t particularly aim to write ‘pop’ music, I write whatever feels right at the time.

The songs always end up heavily lyric focused, but sometimes slow and ballad like, sometimes upbeat and more RNB and sometimes folky pop style. Currently I’m very much in my pop girly era but I think I like to just write what comes to me in the moment.

The genre may vary a bit with each new song, but I feel like that creates a beautiful representation of the human experience because no one ever really stays the same; it means that my listeners can experience my growth and change with me. 


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HAPPY: Anything else exciting on the horizon that you can tease for us?

SIENA: Oh my gosh yes! I have 2 Brisbane shows coming up; I’ll be playing an acoustic set at ‘Can You Keep a Secret’ in Woolloongabba on March 14th with three other beautiful artists, Cameron Alexander, Lucy Korts and Karl Priebe.

Then to celebrate the release of my new single coming out late April, called Package Deal. (YAY) I’ll be headlining a show at ‘It’s Still A Secret’ in West End on May 10th. Package Deal does show I’m really in my pop girl era.

This track is all about trust issues and the baggage that you take into new relationships – I’ve kind of realised I’m a bit of a package deal with my trust issues these days. EEK! Something I am working on through my writing.

You can buy tickets for both shows now and I’d love to see you all there. Make sure you come up and say hi and we can share heartbreak stories. The links to everything is on my socials here.

HAPPY: What makes you happy?

SIENA: Life is about romanticising the little things. Obviously, music and writing make me incredibly happy; it’s a safe and happy space for me.

I find happiness being with my family and friends. I also love to watch the sunrise, my morning coffee, burning candles, buying flowers, the beach, reading.

I think these are all such peaceful things that they really inspire my writing too. Finding your own happiness is really important.