Kimbra and the band that bears her name are enjoying their first-ever headlining tour in North America. But more than a year after releasing her debut album, “Vows,” she’s ready to get to work on a follow-up.
“I’m just in the process of collecting a lot of ideas,” Kimbra (ne Johnson) tells Billboard. “I’ve obviously been in the back of a tour bus, but I’ve been able to come up with stuff on my laptop. I’m always trying out ideas, and I’ve come up with some cool stuff.”
But Kimbra doesn’t expect to be able to work in earnest on anything until she comes off the road and gets back home to New Zealand.
“It’s going to require me to have a bit of stability again to properly write,” she explains. “I need to place myself back at home and get my studio again and start digging into whatever ideas are laying around.”
Watch Kimbra’s Live Session for Billboard
That might not happen until early 2013, however. Kimbra will be in North America until late October, including a stop at the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Oct. 13, and it’s playing the Homebake Music, Film & Arts Festival on Dec. 8 in Sydney, Australia. Kimbra says the group is also considering a tour of Australia and New Zealand in January and February.
Kimbra says she’s already collaborated on some new material with Canadian producer Damian Taylor (Bjork, the Killers, UNKLE) and is thinking about others she’d like to team with for the album.
“That will strongly influence the direction as well,” she says. “I’d like to find people from very different worlds to provoke me in terms of writing the next album.”
Right now, Kimbra predicts she might try “a more minimal approach. ‘Vows’ is about chucking everything in there, which was really fun. Next time it would be interesting for me to try something a little more stripped-back and explore that idea of putting my vocal really foreground, devoid of too much trickery. So I’m thinking of that, but who knows. Maybe I’ll make another kitchen sink record again.”
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She can certainly be assured of high expectations thanks not only to “Vows” but also to her duet with Gotye on the smash “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Kimbra says she can tell fans are coming to see her band because of that song; “I only sing six lines on there, so you can’t really tell what kind of artists I am from that song. But people are suddenly interested in me from the record and want to know more about the music. Hopefully they’ll be pleasantly surprised.”
It’s also brought more duet invitations, including from John Legend and some of the producers on Big Boi’s next album.
“I’m getting lots of people asking me to sing on tracks,” Kimbra confirms. “It’s exciting. I don’t think I’d want to do another call-response or melancholy heartbreak song. I think I did that one already. But there are some things out there I definitely want to follow up on.”