Ingrid Michaelson is ready for summer. The singer is embarking on a special Summer Night Out tour, playing plenty of outdoor venues, before focusing on her next album. “I wanted to do a big blow out tour for the record, because after June, I’m going to hunker down and finish my next record, which is coming out next year. So I wanted to do a big send off,” Michaelson explains.

Of course, playing outside does come with its own set of challenges. “If the weather’s bad, it changes dramatically,” she says. “We’ve had some crazy weather. I’ve had bugs fly into my face. You can’t really recover from that gracefully. We’ve had rain that’s coming almost directly horizontally at us, and all of our gear is wet and we’re just like, ‘This cannot be safe.’ But I’m hoping that that’s not going to happen.”

But aside from the occasional insect-related issue (“One time, there was this gigantic bee that flew into my face. I just screamed. It was very unladylike,” Michaelson shares with a laugh), being outdoors for a show is just as fun for the performers as it is for the audience.

“It’s really beautiful,” Michaelson says. “There’s something kind of perfect about playing outside. It’s very freeing. There’s no walls, so you don’t feel caged. It’s just very open.”

As to that new album, Michaelson says she’s keeping the creative process collaborative, much like she did with last year’s “Lights Out.” “I had such a great time writing the last record. Not that I want to emulate that exactly, because you can’t ever do that, but I just had such a great experience that I came back. And I’m working with more writers.”

While Michaelson’s music may be filling bigger stages, she says she’s still focused on giving her fans an intimate experience. “While we are stepping things up and it is going to be a bigger sound and a bigger production in general, I do want to have the moments where it feels like just me on stage with the audience, because that’s really the way I got my start, just me and an audience. So it’s important for me to keep that feeling,” she says. “And it’s very possible. I think if you have the right rapport and the right audience, you can make anything feel like you’re in a living room.”

About that "Time Machine" video

Michaelson has released a few singles off of “Lights Out,” but the video for “Time Machine” was definitely a hit, since it featured a series of comedians, including Rainn Wilson and Donald Faison, getting in Michaelson’s way while she tried to sing. “I had this idea of having all these male comedians upstaging me. And my manager and I have a connection to Rainn Wilson’s company, Soul Pancake, and we pitched them to help out,” she says. “Rainn helped me to get a lot of people and it just kind of came together. It was a very fun video to do.