Chris Carrabba isn't waiting to get the new Dashboard Confessional album out -- "The Shade of Poison Trees" on Oct. 2 (Vagrant) -- before getting the next one going in serious fashion.

Chris Carrabba isn't waiting to get the new Dashboard Confessional album out -- "The Shade of Poison Trees" on Oct. 2 (Vagrant) -- before getting the next one going in serious fashion.

Carrabba tells Billboard.com he's "about 14 songs" into what will be Dashboard's sixth studio album, although he has no firm recording plans due to his commitments to promote the acoustic flavored "Shade," which include three months' worth of solo acoustic shows. "I'll probably play some of those (brand new) songs on this tour, 'cause what's the point of waiting?" Carrabba says.

Describing the fresh endeavor, he says "there's a moodiness to these songs, not necessarily a somber thing, but there's a heaviness to these songs." He'd like to have a total of 30 or so tracks to draw from and reports that "only with the last three has it become, like, 'All right, these have a continuity and there's something going on,' so I'm excited to see where that leads."

That doesn't mean he's not excited about "The Shade," however. Carrabba acknowledges that its stripped-down setting is "a return to form," hearkening back to the first Dashboard albums -- 2000's "The Swiss Army Romance" and the following year's "The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most" -- after a louder and more electric turn on the gold-selling pair of "A Mark A Mission A Brand A Scar" (2003) and last year's "Dusk and Summer."

"It's the 'just a kid and a guitar kind of thing' -- maybe I'm not a kid anymore, but I can still get to that place when I pick up an acoustic guitar and it's unadorned," says Carrabba, who wrote 11 of the album's 12 songs in a 10-day jag earlier this year and recorded them in just three weeks with producer Don Gilmore.

Carrabba considers it "the most personal record I've written in many years," and because of that he's deliberately keeping the promotional effort on the down-low, not even designating a single.

"I think it would be a stretch for any of these (songs) to get played on radio," Carrabba says. "We just announced it with such little fanfare and as directly as we could to my exact audience. It's a gift to them for waiting so long for something like this."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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