Missy Higgins has a lot on her plate, with a baby on the way and a tour approaching. And yet she’s never felt creatively stronger.
Part of that confidence is her rock-solid relationship with playwright husband Dan Lee. The pair first met in Broome after singing a duet together at a mutual friend’s wedding – Kiss’ I was Made for Lovin’ You – and married in a low-key ceremony at the Collingwood Children’s Farm, in Melbourne’s inner-north, in 2016.
Her fifth studio album Solastalgia includes the track Futon Couch, which recalls the first time she saw Lee.
“It wasn’t quite love at first sight, but there was definitely something that felt really comfortable and just familiar,” Higgins, 34, tells The New Daily, rocking a fuchsia jumpsuit.
“We’re at a point in our lives where we don’t play any games with each other. We’ve both been through that and we can’t be bothered.”
Rapid fire round: Aussie music edition
She regularly seeks his opinion on new music, and returns the favour by critiquing his plays.
“I really trust his opinion. It’s good when you respect each other’s talents and actually want each other’s feedback.”
Not that the odd bit of personal space isn’t required.
“Sometimes I’m like, ‘nope, can’t speak, do not ask me about that. Leave me alone’,” Higgins says.
They rarely play music at home, unless their three-year-old son, Sam, wants to boogie, with Higgins instead listening to podcasts, such as Invisibilia or This American Life.
“I can’t relax when I listen to music. I just hone in on the production or certain things about the song-writing and I start analysing it,” she explains.
The new album was partly inspired by reading Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything, and her anxiety about the future for her young family in the face of dramatic climate change.
Almost walking away from music after second album, On a Clear Night, Higgins says she was putting far too much pressure on herself and feeling burnt out and jaded. She had to wait for inspiration to come naturally, but is now back in fine form.
Looking back on her career to date, Higgins says duetting on Everyone’s Waiting with the recently deceased Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was a career highlight.
“I never imagined that my song could sound like that, so that was really special.”
Playing 65,000-seater stadiums as support for Ed Sheeran during his ÷ Tour was another level.
“How am I going to go back to playing theatres after this?” she jokes.
“Trying to reach every single person in such ginormous venues made me really up my game. I’m not the headline act, so you wanna win them over, so you try to be bigger and better than you’ve ever been before, and that’s a really good challenge.”
She did miss the intimacy of audience connection that comes with smaller venues, though there was one occasion a fan got a little too close.
“I had a huuuuuge bra thrown at me once, but I think I may have been asking for it, because I said something about how rock and roll it would be to have undies thrown at me. This giant bra, it was like each cup was as big as my head.”
Solastalgia is out April 27. Missy Higgins is on tour from May 2.