For Paulie Cohen, a long-delayed ambition to write an album of original music became part of a survival strategy upon learning he would need chemotherapy to treat lymphoma during 2020's COVID-19 pandemic year. He wrote, sang, played, recorded and produced The Senary in his basement late at night. To jump start his songwriting, he decided on a concept: all the songs would be sung from the point of view of an 80's film character. It's up to the listener to figure out which characters from which movies, but Cohen left clues in the lyrics throughout the album. Cohen says that along with being able to focus on a fun and creative music project, he cherished the time with his family during a year of isolation. He spoke about the experience with Cara Lieurance.