The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, theorized how "everything becomes and recurs eternally." He believed all humanity will recur in an infinite number of ways across time and escaping this facet of existence is impossible. This sentiment resonated with the Australian singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko as she created her fifth studio album, Eternal Return.

The album's title nods to Nietzsche's original theory while she recognizes how love can reinforce our deepest beliefs as we return to a state of childlike inhibition. The record is a collection of pop songs that explore both the embrace and complications of a new relationship. Inspired by classic pop songs, Eternal Return is made of immediate and flourishing synthpop, as her lyrics detail her experience of falling in love. Andrew Darley spoke to Sarah about how love, nostalgia, and pop music are all tied together.

This album captures the freshness of a new love. How did you arrive at the title Eternal Return?

My Dad is about to start a PhD on Nietzsche and we were talking about his theory of eternal return, although his original idea of what it means is very different to what I mean with the record. I'm a big believer we keep returning to concepts, feelings, and ideas that are important to us in our lives. When you fall in love, you return to a truer version of yourself or a childlike version of yourself. The title is about continuing to return to the truth of who you are as a person.

Why do you think love does that to us?

It's the idea of partnership. Like any good partnership, you feel able to be yourself and yet you've both got different strengths and weaknesses. I think that's what makes you feel stronger and more able to take on things that are more difficult on your own. Having said that I love being on my own! When you're with someone there are a different set of difficulties: it's very revealing and you can't hide from yourself. That's a whole other set of complications.

I think it's important to hold a certain level of autonomy in a relationship.

Absolutely. I think that's what great about a good relationship. A song like 'Luxurious' is about finding a love that enables you to have space and be who you are. It's about having independence and not having to sacrifice that in a relationship.

How did you want the music itself to reflect the feeling of love?

It happened quite naturally in how it came to be a very synth-laden record. I bought a synth I really loved and everything I was writing was with that. I really loved the nostalgia its sound evoked and reminded me of classic love songs. I saw a connection between nostalgia and the feeling of falling love, as well as childhood. Your first memories of love may not be of falling in love or romantic love but it's certainly a time when you idealize or have very pure thoughts of what love is.

Did you give yourself the challenge of writing an album of pop songs?

I've always wanted to write a really pure pop album. A lot of my favourite pop songs are love songs as well. Since I was writing a lot about love, it made sense to go down that path. That's why I wanted to work with Burke Reid. He was also really interested in making a pop album because he hadn't really done it either.

A good pop song is one where you hear one melody and then you another, then you hear an even stronger one and just when you think you've heard it all another new idea come in and pushes it right over the edge. There's one catchy key element and it continues to out-do itself. The feelings in pop songs are universal. Nothing is ever spared. Everything has to be said quickly and succinctly.

Why do you think love and pop music go so well together then?

It's what everyone aspires to - it's about longing. Most great pop songs are about what you long for. That's what makes you want to sing a pop song over and over. It's like a lot of things in life: you believe that if you keep thinking about someone or keep talking about them, they will somehow come into being.

The experiences you describe on your previous album, I Awake, about conflict and finding your identity, do you feel they needed to happen to find the joy on this record?

I Awake still has quite a few love songs, like 'New Country' and 'Here'. I wrote that album when I was living in a country that wasn't my home. It was about finding love and yourself in a new context. There's an internal conflict on all of my albums because that's my temperament. Even an album like Eternal Return, which is a collection of love songs, there are still songs about illuminating things about yourself that you didn't know before or couldn't articulate. The songs on this album are about being comfortable with your conflicted side - the conflicting parts of your personality or the sides you try to conceal.

Some have assumed this album is about settling down and motherhood as you mentioned early on that you were pregnant while writing it - when in fact it doesn't really go into that at all. Do you think it would be easier if listeners didn't know about certain aspects of your personal life so the music would remain a blank canvas?

I wasn't pregnant when I wrote the album, just when I recorded it, so it's very much pre-pregnancy feelings. It's a weird thing because you want people to know a bit about your life because it can draw people closer to you. I'm a very open person and I want to share things about what I've experienced but I do think it can be problematic. There's been quite a few times when I wished I hadn't shared so much of my own life. In putting this record out I do wish I hadn't told anyone I had a child because you want people to take what they want from the album. It's really about the listener - it's not really about me. If there are certain things people want to know about me to feel closer to the music then that's fine.

I'm sure there are certain things you like knowing about artists you love too. I think we're curious by nature and that spills over into how we engage with art.

Definitely. I think that's what is a little bit sad about modern music: people find out way too much about their idols. I always loved the mystery surrounding people like Michael Jackson, Prince or Kate Bush.

Have you found after five albums that it can be harder to find new territory?

It's always been about the next buzz for me. For the last record, I wanted to make an album with an orchestra my whole life. Each project is about fulfilling a life-long dream! I've always wanted to write a pop record so it's been more about finding the right time. I wanted to write something positive and uplifting and go all the way with those feelings. It's really about life goals. It's based on the hope that what excites me may excite other people. It's the only way I know how to do it.

Would you say that music is a way of processing what you're going through at any particular time?

What's lovely about music is that it can process where I'm at but once you start producing the music and putting it together as a collection on the album, it takes on a heightened quality. I've always said that the songs start from a personal space but as you create the music around it, it becomes much more in the realm of fiction. That's how the audience is invited into what you're trying to say. It is you but it's a heightened version of you.

Particularly on my last three records, I've really tried to expand them into something bigger than what they were. As Day Follows Night was a heartbreak album but I wanted the album to sound like a musical - to turn the pain into something quite whimsical. That's what I mean when I say making it bigger than your own personal experience. It gives it a broader scope and invites the listener in.

On the past three records there are very big-sounding songs. Would you say you're interested in the theatrical potential music can have?

Like the heightening I described with the album, the stage and being under lights also allows you to create an amplified version of yourself and the emotions. Performing live is what I fell in love with first. You'd think I'd feel the opposite because I'm quite a shy person in a lot respects and you would think I'd feel more exposed under lights but I often feel like I can't be touched in that space. It feels like a very personal space where you can be whoever you want to be. I often feel unaware of the audience which is odd - not in the sense I don't know they're there but I feel free. I can't understand why it doesn't feel strange.

What have you learned making Eternal Return?

I always learn something with each album and it's often not great! I care about it so much that when I'm finished I wish I could have chilled out a bit more. I'm always confronted by how unchilled out I am as a person. I really care about it to the point where I don't get sleep and have a couple of meltdowns. Since I produced the last record on my own I wanted to work with a producer on this one. I thought that to do a pop record I needed to be direct so I wanted someone to push me to edit stuff. I loved and hated that part of it - I felt very untrained and inadaptable at times like that. I learned the contradictions in my personality.

Eternal Return is out now and European tour begins on May 10th. More information can be found here.