Donna Simpson and Vikki Thorn. Picture: Supplied

Many an award-winning lyric has been written as the result of a broken heart. But a whirlwind romance set the creative juices flowing for the Waifs' singer/songwriter Donna Simpson, who, by her own admission, was not looking for love when she returned home from the US to perform here three years ago.

Yet in the time it took for her to accept a lift into Fremantle from one of her fans - "JP" - who had watched her perform the previous night, her life turned on its head.

"Basically this really hot gorgeous guy, a beautiful West Aussie boy, offered me a lift home, I said yes and I immediately fell in love with him," Simpson explains over the phone from her home in Hamilton Hill.

"I was living in Minneapolis and we just started meeting up all over the world - Hawaii, different halfway marks. Then he just came over to America and brought me home and now we have these two gorgeous little boys."

Sitting on her daybed in the back garden of the home she now shares with stonemason JP - her two-month-old Sonny Jim in a baby sling and 12-month-old Blue, who was "named after the colour of the water at South Beach", alongside her - Simpson laughs at how much her life has changed over the past couple of years.

"You would think I am over it by now," says Simpson, whose eight-year-old son Franklin lives with her former husband in the US. "But I am as fertile as the Barossa Valley I tell you!"

Despite the hectic routine and ungodly wake up calls the mum-of-three says it is doing wonders for her creativity.

"I have not had music or any songwriting inspiration in like five years," she says. "I stopped listening to the radio because no one was inspiring me at all. I don't know what's happened. Well, I know what's happened.

"Break-ups are usually when you write because you feel really raw. I don't have time to scratch my arse or shave my legs but all of a sudden I have these songs that need to come out."

Indeed, while looking after her new family, Simpson has also been collaborating with sister Vikki Thorn - who, with pal Josh Cunningham, make up the Waifs.

The trio haven't released an album since 2011's Temptation but the sisters have been dabbling their toes back in the creative pool and writing music together - albeit from across the miles.

With the younger of the Albany- born sisters living in southern Utah - one of the remotest parts of the US - with her "three little cowboys", they've found an unconventional way to make music - but it's working for them.

"I write a song, record it on my phone and put it in a dropbox," Simpson explains.

"Vik wakes up in America and while she is feeding her kids she will check her emails and play the song through the stereo.

"It's kind of a beautiful thing that while our communication is terrible and we fight all the time music is something that really brings us together. I hear her voice - and mine belongs with hers."

Reinvigorated and inspired, the siblings have decided to tour Australia under the moniker the Stray Sisters.

It's nothing formal, Simpson says, just a couple of gigs on their own and some supporting their old mate John Butler.

Simpson describes performing to a home crowd like being wrapped in a big warm blanket. Opening for their Jarrah Records stablemate Butler is even more comforting.

"We are like family," she says. "We all did it together. We were the little fish in this massive big pond of music in WA."

In May, Simpson and Thorn will also perform with Cunningham at the Kimberley Moon Experience in Kununurra. But Waifs fans may have to wait a while for a new album. "Giving out CDs is like handing out a business card these days," Simpson says.

"You put so much into the recording, the packaging and promoting. It's a product and we don't really want a product to sell at the moment. We have always been independent and home grown and we just want to get back to playing music."

The Stray Sisters play The Fly By Night, Fremantle, on March 26 and Albany Entertainment Centre on March 31 (ticketek. com.au). They will also be supporting the John Butler Trio at Fremantle Arts Centre on March 27 (oztix.com.au), Belvoir Amphitheatre on March 28 (ticketmaster.com.au) and Old Broadwater Farm, Busselton, on March 29 (oztix.com.au).

The West Australian

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