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Missy Higgins


Country of origin:

Australia

Type of music generally:

Alternative pop/rock

Status:

Most recent release, "Oh Canada" (single, 2016); most recent full-length release, Oz (covers album & book, 2014); most recent full-length release of original material, The Ol' Razzle Dazzle (2012)

See also:

Missy Higgins' site

Wikpedia's entry on Missy Higgins

Comparisons:

Margot O'Breslin

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

See album comments below

Comments about live performance

We went to see the Waifs last week. Opening for them on this Australian tour is a young Melbourne singer/songwriter called Missy Higgins, who I think will be someone to watch out for. She played mostly the piano but also went to the guitar for one or two songs. She's got a great voice and great songs. (10/03, Sherlyn.Koo)

She did a showcase at the Hotel Cafe in November. I had doubts after hearing her demo a few years ago that she really was the 'complete package' so many A&R were touting. Well, I was wrong, this girl definitely has me convinced. Huge voice that effortlessly delves in and out of jazz phrasing seamlessly with a pleasantly melodic touch... Surprisingly good, relaxed feel for the stage with an aggressive posture at her piano... Her short set list included "All For Believing," "Don't Ever," "Simple Things," "The Special Two," "The Cactus Found the Beat," and "Greed For Your Love." She mentioned she wrote 'Cactus' at some ridiculously young age. This song was the head-turner point in her set. People (consisting of pretty much the entire Warner Bros. Records staff) stopped talking... 'Special' and 'Greed' seem destined for CHR greatness. (2/04, thecritics@earthlink.net)

Missy Higgins played a solid but too-short set of about 35 minutes or so. The crowd size had increased since the end of Jorane's set, and with a generous smattering of Australians about, there was a good buzz in the room. Missy opened on keyboards by herself, and was soon joined by an acoustic guitarist whose name I didn't catch, but he played with her on several songs. Coming across like a seasoned entertainer despite her young age, Missy looked very comfortable on stage, and injected some amusing banter between songs. Either she's a perfectionist when it comes to sound, or she had some genuine monitor issues as she kept asking her sound man to adjust the mix during the breaks, but none of it seemed to affect her performance. Her vocals and playing were spot-on except for one point where she forgot a lyric, which she managed to turn into a comedy break before taking it again from the top. Good songs, good sound, I liked her set a lot. (6/05, carnivore@bigfoot.com)

Also on the bill that night [with Kyler at the Hotel Café] was Missy Higgins who is in town working on a new album with Mitchell Froom. Ben Lee joined her on stage for a cover of James' "Laid", and there were many Aussies in the house cheering them on. Missy's cute as a button with a lovely voice and a knack for beautiful tunes. Reallly loved her piano-driven ones. (9/06, paul2k@aol.com)

Recommended first album:

On a Clear Night

Recordings:


The Missy Higgins EP

Release info:

2003—Virgin/Eleven (Australia)—EvelenCD18

Availability:

Australian sources

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Missy Higgins—vocals, piano, guitar

Guest artists:

Julian Hamilton—piano, glockenspiel on 1 track
Kim Moyes—drums on 1 track, vibraphone on 1 track
Helen Mountfort—cello on 1 track
Michael Barker—percussion on 1 track

Produced by:

Julian Hamilton and Missy Higgins

Comments:

I just need a minute to rave about the new Missy Higgins' EP (called, intuitively enough, The Missy Higgins EP). This girl has really got a whole heap of talent and I predict that she's going to be known worldwide within a year or two. I've been listening to the EP on repeat for about a week now and my only complaint is—only four songs! Must. Have. More! (Sherlyn.Koo)

When her name was first mentioned here on ecto I downloaded the sample of "All for Believing" and have listened to it often since—I find it really catchy. So the instant I heard the ep was available I ordered it and it arrived a few days ago.
     Alas, "All for Believing" is the only track I like on it. At all. I still find "All for Believing" incredibly catchy, but the rest of the tracks do less than nothing for me. As a matter of fact, I can't bear to listen to them. I'm not sure what it is—because the music and lyrics are just too painfully predictable to me? And she sings so powerfully and earnestly?
     Anyway, I'm sure someone else here will love this, though. She's got quite the vocal style. And I still love "All for Believing"—it's a hit repeat song for me, which is why I'm so disappointed.
     She reminds me very much of Margot O'Breslin (whom I consistently like) here. (Neile)


The Sound of White

Release info:

2005—Reprise—49329-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Missy Higgins—vocals; piano (1, 7)

Guest artists:

Michael Barker—percussion (1)
Helen Mountfort (My Friend the Chocolate Cake)—cello (1)
Dean Butterworth—drums (2-6, 8-12)
Carlos Cordova—upright bass (2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12)
Stuart Mathis—acoustic guitar (2, 8-10), guitar (3, 6, 11, 12); electric guitar (4, 5, 9, 10)
Greg Leisz—electric guitar (2); steel guitar (4, 6, 8); dobro (6); Weissenborn lap steel guitar (9); guitar (12)
Jamie Muhoberac—keyboards (2, 3, 5, 6, 8-12); piano (4)
Debra Dobkin—percussion (2-6, 8-12)
Martin Tillman—cello (2, 4, 5, 7, 12); electric cello (3)
Keith Christopher—bass (3, 6, 11)
John Porter—electric guitar (3, 9); acoustic guitar (3, 6); keyboards (4); 12-string acoustic guitar (9); mandolin (12)
Jay Newland—acoustic guitar (3)
Darrell Leonard—flugelhorn (3, 6)
Ken Wiley—French horn (4-6)
Walt Fowler—flugelhorn (6)
John Patitucci—upright bass (9)

Produced by:

John Porter

Comments:

Overall a mixed to solid debut. There are some songs I really like ("Scar," "Katie," "All for Believing") but there's also a fair amount of stuff that I don't find very compelling. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of the best albums of the year. (maier@joynet.com.au)


On a Clear Night

Release info:

2007—Reprise Records—422652-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Missy Higgins—vocals, piano, acoustic guitar, Wurlitzer piano, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Matt Chamberlain—drums, percussion
Val McCallum—electric guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo
Mitchell Froom—keyboards (1-3, 5-7)
Davey Faragher—electric bass (1-4, 6, 9)
Ian Walker—acoustic bass (5, 7, 8, 10)
Cathy LaMothe—horns (2-4)
Greg Leisz—mandolin (8)
Neil Finn—electric guitar (9); backing vocals (10)

Produced by:

Mitchell Froom

Comments:

I liked Missy Higgins' voice and style from the first time I heard her song "All for Believing," but her first two albums didn't seem very distinctive to me. Now she seems to have finally delivered on her promise with this collection of well-crafted piano-based pop and folk-pop songs. (JoAnn Whetsell)

The EPs Collectible

Release info:

2010

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of Missy Higgins

Comments:

As the name suggests, this album collects several EPs in one place along with some tracks recorded for compilations. So there's a lot of material—32 songs and 34 tracks in all. It's best digested in pieces and fans are likely to find a few hidden gems. (JoAnn Whetsell)

The Ol' Razzle Dazzle

Release info:

2012—Eleven/Vagrant—VR745

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Missy Higgins—vocals, piano, electric piano, moog synthesizer, acoustic guitar, stylophone, handclaps, Tibetan singing howls, creature sounds

Guest artists:

Butterfly Boucher—drums (1, 7); percussion (1, 3, 5, 10, 11); bass (1, 3-6); guitars (1, 5, 6); backing vocals (1, 3-6, 8); organ, percussion (2); acoustic guitar (2, 4, 8, 11); electric guitars (3, 8, 10); programming (3); keyboards, (3, 9); piano (5); creature sounds (7); baritone electric guitar (9); XII-string electric guitar (11); piano (12)
Brad Jones—keyboards (1, 7, 9); harmonium (2); electric guitar (2, 4); bass (2, 9, 11); vibraphone (2, 11); electric XII-string guitar (5, 8); mandolin (5, 8, 9, 11); Marxophone (6); moog synthesizer (6, 11); organ (8)
Lindsay Jamieson—drums (2-8, 10); percussion (2-4, 6-8)
David Henry—cello (3, 12); violin (3)
Chris Carmichael—strings (4, 6, 11)
James Nixon—backing vocals (7)
Dave Higgins—creature sounds (7); backing vocals (10, 12)
Dawson Wells—handclaps (7)
Nick Buda—drums (9, 11); percussion (11)
Daniel Tashian—organ (9); keyboards (11)

Produced by:

Brad Jones and Butterfly Boucher

Comments:

A solid, enjoyable (though not particularly memorable) album of bright, upbeat pop. Missy's sound is more fleshed out and there are some interesting textures in the instrumentation (check out "Unashamed Desire"). The most interesting song is the bluesy "Watering Hole". (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Missy Higgins' DVD If You Tell Me Yours I'll Tell You Mine was released in Australia in 2005. The DVD Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate in Crisis (2007) includes a performance of "Steer" on disc 2.

Missy Higgins' songs appear on several compilations, including television and film soundtracks. Compilation work includes:

  • a cover of Patty Griffin's "Moses" on Like a Version (2005)
  • "Stuff and Nonsense" on She Will Have Her Way: The Songs of Tim & Neil Finn (2005)
  • "Droving Woman" with Augie March and Paul Kelly on the tribute album Cannot Buy My Soul: Songs of Kev Carmody (2007)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2017-04-12 21:37:08.
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