Tim Finn wound up with a new album by starting to look at his old material. The former Split Enz frontman and Crowded House member releases "Imaginary Kingdom" on April 24, but he tells Billboard.com

Tim Finn wound up with a new album by starting to look at his old material. The former Split Enz frontman and Crowded House member releases "Imaginary Kingdom" on April 24, but he tells Billboard.com that the set is actually an outgrowth of a compilation he began contemplating while on tour with brother Neil Finn in 2004.

"After more than 20 years of doing a lot of projects, I thought it was time to maybe put out a collection, a best-of or something," says Finn, whose last solo album was 2001's "Feeding the Gods." "I was to and fro-ing on that, and maybe that freed me up -- the fact I wasn't under any deadline to make a new album or wasn't thinking about it much. The songs kind of came along and tumbled out."

Finn says that being on the road with his brother also helped to inspire him to write new material. "I was connecting back to the fans from the Split Enz days," he explains, "people I hadn't played to much in Europe and England and even in the States. I haven't done a whole lot of touring on my own, so it was connecting me back to a lot of people. I think that feeds the writing as well."

Finn recorded "Imaginary Kingdom" in Nashville with producer Bobby Huff, with whom he'd made "Winter Light," his contribution to the soundtrack for "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." Another song on "Imaginary Kingdom," "Salt to the Sea," is a tribute to the late Crowded House drummer Paul Hester.

Finn won't take part in the upcoming Crowded House reunion -- "It's something Neil wanted to do ... and I'm supportive of that," he says -- but a short promo tour in support of the new album is slated to begin May1 in Los Angeles. A more extensive outing will follow in the summer.

And he hasn't given up on the compilation idea, either. "It'll probably be the next thing," Finn says. "In the back of my mind I'm sometimes running through the kind of songs I'd like to see on it. There's probably a CD's worth of stuff that's never been released but is more than demos. I can put together quite a good combination of extra stuff."

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