Interview: KT Tunstall, singer

THE release of third album Tiger Suit means that KT Tunstall is back from her sabbatical, and she returns to find the pop charts are clogged up by a glut of female artists.

But the increased competition shouldn't worry the Edinburgh-born, St Andrews-raised singer, for most of the pretenders to her crown are pretty girls making music that's, more often than not, woefully devoid of any originality or merit.

The same can't be said for Tunstall, a phenomenally successful artist on both sides of the Atlantic, with four million album sales, a Brit Award for Best British Solo Artist and an Ivor Novello Best Song gong to her name.

Previous albums Eye To The Telescope and Drastic Fantastic may have won her an army of fans, but the gifted 35-year-old isn't one for resting on her laurels.

"It's not that I'm not proud of what I've done in the past," she says.

"I am and I always will be, but I was aware that my music wasn't turning me on anymore and I have high standards. The interesting thing about being a musician and touring is that you get to see some incredible gigs while you're away. Every time you see a good band at a festival, your bar goes up.

"Go see a David Byrne gig, and you know you're really not pushing yourself, or Pixies. I saw them before I started this album and it really hit home what can be done in three minutes of a song."

After being away so long, Tunstall says her biggest worry was that no-one would remember her, so she was determined to come back with a bang.

"The sure-fire way of losing your place in music is to be overexposed, or to rush in and make something bad," she explains.

"The best way of securing your position is to come back with something truly great."

Tiger Suit is available to buy now