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Missy Higgins finds a sound for the future


Australian singer-songwriter Missy Higgins poses for a photograph in Sydney, Wednesday, April 18, 2018. Higgins is promoting her upcoming album Solastalgia, which will be released on May 4. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) 

From a young age, Ed Sheeran has had a talent for spotting great songwriters, they then serve as inspiration for his own remarkable career.

One of those songwriters is Australia's own Missy Higgins, a musician who has been releasing honest and catchy songs for over a decade now.

At the age of 13, while on holiday with his parents in Australia, Sheeran was first introduced to Higgins and was hooked.

"He saw a live concert of mine on TV, a show I did at the Opera House, and he really liked my music and apparently went out straight away and bought all my albums and all my EPs and became a big fan," Higgins told AAP.

In the years that followed, Higgins noticed how Sheeran would mention her in interviews so when he announced his recent tour of Australia, and it coincided with the release of her fifth album, Solastalgia, she got in touch and ended up supporting him on the tour.

"It was a crazy experience because it was bigger crowds than I'd ever played to before and I was really nervous at first. I got out there on the first show and I sung way too loudly. I lost my voice completely by the end of the first gig, and I didn't know what to do on such a huge stage but I got used to it with every show and by the end of it I was just having so much fun," she said.

It was a grand experience for a songwriter with a grand vision as Higgins' latest album, Solastalgia, deals with themes around motherhood and climate change.

"I had this crazy idea to write this album on a timeline from now until the end of the world. There's a very strong apocalyptic theme on the album," she said.

Solastalgia, is a term coined by Australian professor Glenn Albrecht which Higgins latched on to while reading an article about climate change. It's a beautiful sounding word that the songwriter felt encompassed many beautiful sounding metaphors.

For an album with such grand themes, Higgins has adjusted her sound accordingly, experimenting with electronic music.

"It is a very new sound for me, it's a sound that I've been wanting to explore for years because I've been listening to a lot of modern electronic programmed music over the last few years and been really inspired by it," she said.

The result is Higgins first original album in six years, and her first since becoming a mother.

"I've always said I don't want to release an album unless I'm inspired to do so ... but it got to the point where I was having these surges of emotion and feelings about the future. Having a child suddenly made me much more aware of the passing of time. So I started thinking about my past and my future and then the end of my life and the fact that his would continue on, it was kind of blowing my mind so I needed to put those thoughts into some songs."

* Solastalgia is out on April 27 and Missy Higgins' national tour starts on May 2

© AAP 2018