After battling pneumonia for nearly six months, Spiritualized mainman Jason Pierce felt lost.

After battling pneumonia for nearly six months, Spiritualized mainman Jason Pierce felt lost. Before he went into the hospital, he'd laid down a good chunk of what would eventually become his sixth album, but finishing it proved a challenge. "It's very difficult to work on something again that you didn't intend to," Pierce says. "It didn't seem contemporary anymore. Not musically, but where I was in my life."

That changed once he met filmmaker Harmony Korine ("Kids," "Julien Donkey-Boy") at a Daniel Johnston show in London. Backstage, Pierce and Korine struck up a conversation-and a friendship-that would lead Pierce back into the studio to work on the score for Korine's next film, "Mr. Lonely."

"I was completely lost when I came out, and I had this record that sounded like a collection of songs that made no sense," Pierce says. "By working on his record, which is just about sound and atmospheres, it put me in a place where it bled into my record."

Meanwhile, due this week via Fontana/Universal is "Songs in A&E." He's always been a firm believer in questioning human relationships, alongside the entanglements of love, religion and death. But the music here reflects a less abrasive Spiritualized --feedback and heavy reverb have been replaced with softer arrangements, highlighting violins and acoustic guitars, ultimately casting Pierce's voice in an almost angelic-sounding warmth.

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