After a three-year absence of solo material, singer/songwriter Keren Ann will return with new, eponymous album, due May 8 via Metro Blue/Blue Note. The nine-track set was recorded in five different co

After a three-year absence of solo material, singer/songwriter Keren Ann will return with new, eponymous album, due May 8 via Metro Blue/Blue Note. The nine-track set was recorded in five different countries and six different cities. It is the follow-up to "Nolita," released in 2004.

Last year, Keren Ann could be heard as part of the side project Lady & Bird, formed with Bang Gang's Bardi Johannsson. The duo released a self-titled album via Rebel Group.


-- Katie Hasty, N.Y.







New York-based singer Emily King, who is set to drop her J debut, "East Side Story," in July, says she turned down songs by in-demand songwriters Ne-Yo and Sean "The Pen" Garrett because "it wasn't the essence of me."

"It sounds crazy, I know," the 21-year-old, half-African-American, half-Italian songstress tells Billboard.com. "I think everyone can only express themselves if they're truly expressing themselves. When it came down to it, I felt in my heart I wanted my own songs to be on the album."

Contributions from songwriters Salaam Remi and Floetry's Marsha Ambrosius did make the cut for the album, the first single from which, "Walk in My Shoes," will hit radio in May.


-- Mariel Concepcion, N.Y.







Rock act the Exies will release its debut for Eleven Seven Records, "A Modern Way of Living With the Truth," April 10. First single "Different Than You" will hit U.S. rock radio outlets next week. The group's two prior albums were issued by Virgin.

On the heels of a tour with Buckcherry and Three Days Grace, the Exies are back on the road and will next play Malibu, Calif., tomorrow (Feb. 15). A residence at Los Angeles club the Whisky A Go Go is also on tap for this month.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

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