By Jessica Goodman
Updated October 16, 2015 at 02:27 PM EDT
Credit: Simon Fowler

Enya will release her first album in seven years, Dark Sky Island, on Nov. 20, and though the collection took three years to make, the Irish singer tells EW she needed some time away after releasing 2008’s And Winter Came…

“I took a break,” she tells EW, when asked about why she waited to put out new music. “Because with [1988’s] Watermark going into [1991’s] Shepherd Moon, [1995’s] Memory of Trees, there’s a three-year gap but I was in the studio for the three years. I had little breaks, but it took three years to put each album together.”

This time, that break stretched a bit longer. “But when I worked on When Winter Came, that was an idea I had — I always wanted to work on a Christmas kind of winter album,” she says. “But after that, I didn’t know what was next and I thought maybe it’s time to take a break, and initially it was going to be a few weeks and I’d see what happened, and then it got into, where I thought actually I’m not ready to get back into it. I wanted a real break. I bought a place in the south of France, which was a good excuse for a real break!”

Enya released the collection’s first single, “Echoes In Rain,” earlier this week. In the album announcement, she said it was the final song to be completed for the new record.

For Dark Sky Island, Enya worked with her producer and sound engineer Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan.

Reporting by Gillian Telling.