Missy Higgins, the Australian singer, songwriter and devout environmentalist, is raising funds to help thwart government plans to industrialize a pristine area of the country's north west.
Ahead of a visit to her homeland, Higgins and her Australian label Eleven issued a digital EP via iTunes entitled "More Than This," royalties from which will be donated to conservationists "Save the Kimberley", whose mission is to stop government proposals to erect a gas plant in the Kimberley region.
The Australia-only EP is led by a cover of the Roxy Music song "More Than This," and carries a reworking of the Cy Coleman ballad "I'm In Love Again" plus versions of Tom Petty's "Breakdown" and Patty Griffin's "Moses". It was available from March 31.
Higgins has a strong affinity with the area and its main hub Broome, where she filmed the Geoffrey Rush-led movie "Bran Nue Dae" and wrote many of the songs from her sophomore album "On A Clear Night," which has proved something of a slow burner in the United States selling more than 100,000 copies on release from Warner Bros.
For more on other artists' environmental initiatives, see the current Green Issue of Billboard.
Higgins, who hails from Melbourne on the country's east coast, will briefly return to Australia after an 18-month stay in L.A. for a slate of live dates including the Rochford Winery, Yarra Valley on April 12 and the Byron Bay East Coast Blues and Roots Festival the following day.
Life on the American road has been a dizzying trip, but Higgins' goals remain well grounded. "I really want to buy a real piano," she told Billboard.biz ahead of her trip home. "I'm sick of using a keyboard or playing other people's pianos. There's nothing like the vibration of real strings pulsing through the keys and up through your fingertips. I think I want to put it in my bedroom."
In a light moment, she added, "I also want to spend a lot more time awake in darkness or relative darkness. I've just discovered that not sleeping puts me in the most beautifully euphoric haze and I want to see what kind of music can come of that."