Vancouver rock act Frog Eyes will release its fourth album, "Tears of the Valedictorian," May 1 via Absolutely Kosher. The set was recorded in pieces during 2005 and 2006 and features contributions fr

Vancouver rock act Frog Eyes will release its fourth album, "Tears of the Valedictorian," May 1 via Absolutely Kosher. The set was recorded in pieces during 2005 and 2006 and features contributions from Wolf Parade's Spencer Krug.

"As soon as I had three songs, we'd go and record them," group member Carey Mercer tells Billboard.com. "And once we had those three recorded, the next songs would be written. I felt much more aware of the shape of the record; usually I have no idea how I'm feeling about the record until the review comes back," he adds with a laugh.

"Tears of a Valedictorian" is new in a few ways for Mercer. For one, it marks the first time he used a producer. "We worked with this guy Daryl Smith, and we would pop in and out of the studio," Mercer explains. "He'd go away for a month and mix it. And it's kind of wonderful to get your song back and not get sick of it. But I think he's totally responsible for the way it sounds."

Many of the cuts were written and worked out on tour as well. "We would go record the songs the day after tour, and that was another thing -- you'd get a month to check them out in front of an audience, and at the end you can just pop in for a day," he says.

The nine-minute "Bushels" was originally a one-minute "ditty" but evolved on the road, and Mercer worked with Krug to stretch it out. "It just kept growing into five, six, then seven minutes," Mercer recalls. "It wasn't anything conscious."

Frog Eyes will begin a month-long tour on release date in Seattle, before heading east, where a majority of the stops will be. "I'm excited to get back on the road. And with a headlining tour, it's nice to know that the people are definitely there to see you," Mercer says.