JEALOUSLY is an emotion most of us struggle with at various times.
Singleton-bred Laura Higgins, aka LaHi, is no different.
Rather than become consumed by the green monster LaHi channelled the feelings into her latest single Wolf In Sheep's Clothing.
"It came out of a pattern of me finding people in relationships attractive and then finding out they had girlfriends and their girlfriends being also amazing," Higgins said.
"This unattainable crush, like a schoolyard crush and you can't stop it so you feel like a dickhead.
"It's like that feeling. You're the wolf and you're under cover."
Wolf In Sheep's Clothing is easily the most assessible song of LaHi's career and follows the release of her debut EP The Purge back in March.
It blends LaHi's trademark jazz influences in the verses before cascading into a pure bubblegum pop chorus, backed by low-hi guitar, bass and drums. Once again Higgins' sparkling voice is front and centre.
"It wasn't intentional, it just came out," she said of the pop direction. "I know the hook in it is quite good compared to a lot of the other songs I do.
"I don't write songs to be catchy per se, but this one definitely is. It's definitely a step towards the future on my sound."
LaHi will release another single called Cracking Weather early in 2022, which she says is influenced by Lily Allen and The Cranberries and explores sexual empowerment.
"It's about being slut-shamed which is something I'm passionate about educating, especially men, on," she said.
In the meantime, LaHi is focused on returning to live performance. Upcoming shows include the semi-finals of Listen Up band competition on November 24 at the Factory Theatre.
FREEDOM Day on Monday saw the fully vaccinated back in pubs and clubs and slowly live music is returning too.
Mayfield's Stag and Hunter Hotel recommenced live music on Wednesday night when Catherine Britt hosted Peppertown Jam, and there's more coming.
The Merewether Fats Blues Jam returns on Friday, before Human Noise (November 5), Natalie Henry (November 12), Darren Jack (November 13), Glovers Lane (November 14) and Kris Morris & The Dirty Snakes (November 19) keep the tunes flowing.
Over at Lizotte's they restart shows on the weekend of October 23 and 24 with The 3 Johns: A Tribute to the Music of Farnham Fogerty and Cougar and Daniel Champagne.
The Hamilton Station Hotel will begin a series of Saturday afternoon beer garden shows this weekend which include Hunter Beasley and James Edge (October 16), Shadow Cast (October 23) and Emily A. Smith (October 30).
Once NSW reaches 80 per cent vaccination and restrictions ease to allow standing inside, the Hamilton Station plan to begin booking shows for Hunter and Sydney bands in November.
"There's a heap of local bands who are really desperate to play as they haven't had shows for a few months," Hamilton Station's booker Spencer Scott said.
CAMBO TAKE STAND
THE Cambridge Hotel might have reopened on Monday, but the Newcastle West venue will wait until standing gigs are permitted before reintroducing live music.
Once NSW reaches 80 per cent double vaccination standing and dancing is allowed in pubs, but capacity will still be limited to one person every four square metres. The state is expected to reach that milestone within the next fortnight.
Cambridge licensee Dru Russell said smaller local band gigs might return after 80 per cent is reached, but major shows aren't likely to recommence until December 1.
Under the NSW Government COVID-19 roadmap, restrictions on non-vaccinated people will end on December 1 and indoor venues can host two people per square metre.
That will allow the Cambridge to hold shows of around 500 people.
"It will make it more viable for the venue and the acts, but it's still at half capacity," Russell said. "Although not ideal, it's better than one every four square metres."
Gigs scheduled for December include Melbourne's Hiatus Kaiyote on December 15.
Russell expects the touring circuit to regain momentum over the summer as state borders reopen and there's greater certainty.
"The agents and the acts can see the light from January onwards, so they're happy to come back and tour," he said.
In the meantime the Cambridge is opening on Friday and Saturday nights with DJs. Pre-sale for the first three weeks is sold out, but there will be tickets available at the door.