Missy Higgins to explore NZ

BRIDGET JONES
Last updated 05:00 20/12/2012
missy higgins
Getty Images
BACK TO HER BEST: Missy Higgins has returned to music after taking some time out.

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Australian musician Missy Higgins hasn't spent much time in New Zealand, but she is looking forward to exploring the country early next year.

The Scar singer is headlining six winery shows alongside OpShop and Che Fu on the MoreFM Summer Vineyard Tour, starting in Tauranga on February 15.

"I've never really toured New Zealand extensively," Higgins says.  

"I've always wanted to see a bit more of New Zealand and this is like doing a road trip really."

The fact the 29-year-old is touring anywhere is something of a miracle. In 2008, Higgins was at the top of her game; she had two chart-topping albums under her belt and had almost single-handedly reinvented what it meant to be a solo female artist on this side of the world.

But when she started writing her third album a year later, she soon realised seven years of non-stop touring and recording had taken its toll. Rather than plough ahead anyway Higgins took a break, enrolled in a university course and made her feature film debut. Music was on its way to becoming a distant memory.

By late 2010, however, the creative buzz had returned and her third album, The Ol' Razzle Dazzle, was released earlier this year.

Higgins said while the break was necessary, she is pleased to be back on stage again.

"It's really, really nice. I'm so glad to be doing it again, and I'm so glad to be enjoying it. It got to the point, with the last album, where I'd been touring for years and years without having a break and I don't think I was really enjoying it any more. I was taking it for granted.  

"I think I just needed to step back and chill out for a while and come back with a new perspective and fresh eyes - which was what I should have known to do in the first place - but I think I was just so disillusioned and under-slept, that I thought 'oh god, I'm just going to walk away forever'."

Higgins has already decided the New Zealand tour this summer will be the last for the album, meaning she should still be feeling "fresh and inspired" when she starts working on album number four.

And she said coming back to the other side of the music industry has taken some adjusting and listening to what her mind and body are trying to tell her.

"It's an ongoing kind of process working out where my limits are. At the start of this album I was doing a lot of press all of a sudden - I was doing 20 interviews a day - and I could feel myself getting burnt out. I need to take this a little bit slower, so I think I'm still trying to find my pace."

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Higgins said revisiting the songs she was playing when she was struggling to cope has been an interesting process, but the memories associated with them have largely changed.

"Every song changes its meaning over time and I think with those older songs, I get the most appreciation when I see what they mean for the audience. My really old singles, I'm not so emotionally attached to them any more, but it feels great when it gets such a great reaction from the audience.

"At the shows, the songs you play for you are the newer ones; they are still fresh for you. And the other ones, I guess I just love knowing those songs have been carried along by other people in their lives."

MoreFM Summer Vineyard Tour

February 15 - Mills Reef Winery, Tauranga
February 16 - Sileni Estates Winery, Hawke's Bay
February 17 - Te Kairanga Vineyard, Martinborough
February 19 - Trifalgar Park, Nelson
February 22 - The Groynes, Christchurch
February 23 - Turanga Creek Winery, Auckland

- Auckland Now

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