Melissa Etheridge releases her new album "The Awakening," tomorrow (Sept. 25) via Island Def Jam. But don't look for her to hit the road to promote it any time soon.

Melissa Etheridge releases her new album "The Awakening," tomorrow (Sept. 25) via Island Def Jam. But don't look for her to hit the road to promote it any time soon.

"I'll go on tour next summer, when the kids are out of school," Etheridge tells Billboard.com. He children with Julie Cypher -- Bailey Jean and Beckett -- are in fifth and third grade, respectively, while she also has 11-month old twins with actress Tammy Lynn Michaels.

"Believe me, I want to be out there (on tour)," Etheridge says, "but when you've got kids, you just don't want to run off, and I don't want to run off. So I tour in the summer."

In lieu of live dates, Etheridge will make some special appearances to get the word out about "The Awakening," her first new studio album since "Lucky" in 2004 and since her successful battle against breast cancer. Etheridge will play tomorrow at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York and will also be featured on Clear Channel Communications' S"tripped" performance series. On Wednesday, Etheridge will perform on "The Tyra Banks Show."

Etheridge says the intensely personal and socially conscious "The Awakening" represents her most focused album to date, one on which she purposefully stepped outside of "the success trap" of pushing for hit singles and instead concentrated on writing and recording a conceptual and thematically unified work.

"I called my manager," Etheridge recalls, "and said, 'You really have to call the record company and tell them I'm gonna make an album and I'm gonna give it to you. You don't get to say, 'Well, we don't hear a hit. If you say that, you don't have to sell it. I'll take it and go somewhere else.' It was truly important this came from a place of art coming first."

Nevertheless, Etheridge feels that "The Awakening" -- preceded by the upbeat first single "Message to Myself" -- is as accessible as any of its predecessors.

"I tried to be honest with myself and really create what I love," she explains. "I believe that is marketable and there's a place for it in the world. But the experience of making it was success for me. Whatever happens otherwise is just fun."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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