Rusted Root is getting ready to hit a Pittsburgh studio to record its first album of new material in more than five years.

Rusted Root is getting ready to hit a Pittsburgh studio to record its first album of new material in more than five years.

Singer/percussionist Liz Berlin tells Billboard.com, "there's a lot of uptempo stuff. There's this new song that's really rocking that we're really excited about called 'Bad Son,' and it's kind of political and super in-your-face fun. And there's stuff that's slower and really beautiful.

"I think the songwriting's matured a lot, and the musical interaction is really comfortable and easy right now," she adds. "I think that people are gonna be surprised by a few of these new things -- hopefully all of them. It's been awhile since we've had new music, so I'm excited."

Berlin says the gap since 2002's "Welcome to My Party" has been marked by a "kind of restructuring emotionally and personnel-wise" which has left only herself, frontman Michael Glabicki and bassist Patrick Norman from Rusted Root's original lineup.

"It's been pretty challenging," notes Berlin, who released a solo album, "Audiobiographical," in 2006. "I think the creative energy's been a little stifled over the last few years, and we're just coming out of it right now. I think it's natural in any ... family to have change that needs to happen, and it's always really emotional. I think in the end it's good for everybody involved, and the music is certainly turning into exciting things."

Rusted Root will hit the studio in January for a hoped-for late-spring release, but Berlin isn't expecting Rusted Root to sign a label deal for the new album.

"We don't feel a need or an intention to go shop this around," she explains. "I think the industry has changed so much that it's not really a necessary thing. Now you can pretty much do everything yourself. It doesn't make sense to strive for a record deal as some kind of solution or a way to boost your career. If a specific situation or offer came along, we might consider it. But we're happy doing it ourselves."