Brooke Addamo comes across like an endangered species.
The woman known as Owl Eyes is softly spoken, like she's found her feet but isn't ready to step on anyone's toes.
Split-seconds of hesitation meander down the phone line as Brooke launches into a dialogue that doesn't quite relate to the question being posed, instead answering one I wish I'd thought to ask.
She tells me that her favourite artist isn't Madonna, her favourite Beatles song could be ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’, and that her favourite time in life could potentially be right now.
Addamo's story is an unlikely one, although not so unlikely as to verge on the unbelievable. It's a faux pas to bring up her reality TV past. Though so many moons ago, her appearance on that notorious talent show which cannot be named still seems to have left a residual effect.
Brooke believes in opportunism, without being an opportunist. She's careful, without being cautious. There are other aspects of her demeanour, too, which leave one wondering if they exist because of an awkward teenage moment.
"Not too many people bring up ‘Australian Idol’ anymore. Usually in the cities I never get asked about it, but if I'm doing a regional tour I might get asked. I don't mind it. Everyone has a backstory and this is mine. I don't regret it, I just take it with a grain of salt.
"Everyone has their dorky, awkward teenage phase... mine was broadcast live on national TV. The main thing that’s annoying about it is that it's all over Youtube. Once it gets on there you can never take it away!"
The awkwardness would arguably have been greater had Brooke never pursued a career in music. But she's not a TV phenomenon, despite her YouTube acrimony. Brooke Addamo is 22, she's released two EPs, and her debut LP 'Nightswim' dropped onto Richard Kingsmill's desk early this year.
When Brooke refers to herself as an artist it's not in passing; she means every bit of it.
Every silver lining has a cloud, though. Earlier this year, Clare Bowditch told us that young, female artists have to struggle to be taken seriously as musicians, that they have to escape a cloud of doubt and earn their legitimacy, and Brooke doesn’t disagree.
"I guess that argument has some weight to it. I guess when you're a young female artist you get questioned a lot. I was talking to Amy from Stonefield. They get asked a lot of hard questions about whether they actually really love what they're doing or if they're actually just being fed that from a label.
"But I just try not to focus on things like that. You can get very caught up, very overwhelmed and upset by things like that. But that's just the way it is, you just have to take it on yourself to say that you love music and that's what you love doing."
Brooke finds herself in the developmental crossroads that often defines being in one's early twenties. She tells me her age gets brought up quite frequently in interviews, that people like to remind her how young she is. She doesn't feel that young.
"I guess I'm still young, but I also feel quite mature and I feel like I'm finding myself as an artist more than I have in the past. I've been doing music for a long time now, so I don't feel too young. There are so many up-and-coming artists, there's producers who are only 16 that are making music and putting it on Soundcloud and getting signed. But I feel like I can still take risks and not be too harshly criticised because I'm in my lower twenties."
Brooke’s political beliefs are rarely criticised, mainly because she never talks about them. Truthfully it's no one's business to ask... but hey, it's an election year. Let's hear it.
"I don't really get involved in politics because it makes me quite mad. But my main policy would probably be to legalise gay marriage. I think it's ridiculous that we're living in the past. If you love someone you should be able to show that.
"I have a lot of gay friends and I feel quite passionately about that. I'm not too sure what my political party would be called. Probably something funny to do with cats."
Or dogs, perhaps. Given her affiliation with Oscar's Law. Perhaps 'affiliation' is too strong a word, though. She's not so much campaigning for them as she is lending them a face and a name. Brooke is just an artist, after all.
"I don't really take a stand on a lot of issues because I'm not an activist, I'm not a politician. But I do support the belief that if you believe something you should talk about it.
"Oscar's Law came to me and asked if I was interested. I read about them and thought it was a good cause. I do believe in animal rights; I don't think puppy farms are the right way to go. I didn't know much about them before they contacted me but after looking at how dogs are being treated in those facilities I thought it was something worthy of my time... even if it was just for a photograph."
The interview comes to a close and I realise I haven't asked a single question about Owl Eyes' latest LP, 'Nightswim'. It's quite rude, really, and perhaps a little frustrating.
"No, the main thing that frustrates me is when people don't do their research, like when people ask me if I've toured before. I like being thrown different questions. I do have opinions, obviously, I'm not a puppet."
Owl Eyes plays Alhambra Lounge Friday October 11 and the Woombye Pub October 12. The ‘Nightmixes’ EP is released October 18.