Just a few months after his latest album, singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur has recorded nearly 80 new songs in Los Angeles in recent weeks with his band the Lonely Astronauts and plans to release a hos

Just a few months after his latest album, singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur has recorded nearly 80 new songs in Los Angeles in recent weeks with his band the Lonely Astronauts and plans to release a host of them spread across two new albums in 2007.

Arthur tells Billboard.com the first set, "Let's Just Be," will arrive April 17 via his own Lonely Astronaut label. The second, tentatively titled "Abwoon," is due before the end of the year. "This is the main reason I was excited to start my own label -- to put records out near the rate I make them," he says.

Arthur says he and bandmates Kraig Jarret Jonson, Jennifer Turner, Sibyl Buck and Greg Wieczorek recorded to two-inch analog tape on a 16-track soundboard, "just to set limitations. We had just come off seven weeks on the road, so we were in really good shape. We were completely inspired to do this. There was this real air of openness and brotherhood amongst us, and I think you can really hear it."

Among the tracks earmarked for "Let's Just Be" are the title song, "Cocaine Feet," "Precious One," "Lack a Vision" and "Lonely Astronaut," which runs more than 20 minutes. "We, like Black Sabbath, have a song that is also our band name. It was live," Arthur says of the latter cut. "It's almost like Can or something."

The try-anything spirit even extended to the album's running order. "The work CD from the mastering plant came back to us in no specific order," Arthur recalls. "One day I listened to it all the way through, and I was like, that totally works! F*ck it. Let's just put that out. That was the spirit this was made in anyway. A lot of the mixes, I would leave the board up from the mix before. When you keep everything simple, it makes everything easier on down the line. And drums so much better on tape than digital."

Arthur and the Lonely Astronauts plan to return to the road this spring in support of "Let's Just Be."

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