After a brief European holiday last month, singer/songwriter James Blunt has emerged with half-dozen or so new tracks and ideas for the follow-up release to his 2005 double platinum Custard/Atlantic d

After a brief European holiday last month, singer/songwriter James Blunt has emerged with half-dozen or so new tracks and ideas for the follow-up release to his 2005 double platinum Custard/Atlantic debut "Back to Bedlam." "I have a handful that I love but I don't think I've completed the story yet," Blunt tells Billboard.com.

"As for whether they make it onto the next album, I guess I'll know by the end of the tour if I still feel excited about them," he adds.

That tour, which began this past weekend and visits Ottawa, Ontario, tonight (Oct. 2), runs through the middle of next month. Blunt says he'll then begin recording with "Back to Bedlam" producer Tom Rothrock for a hopeful 2007 release. However, he stresses there is no deadline or timeframe for the street date of the next album.

"It's important that I get an album that I really enjoy and it really captures what I hear inside of my head," says Blunt, who admits that unlike the solitary creative process behind "Bedlam," he's now writing material with his band in mind.

He adds, "I think on the first album I wrote really on my own or with my stuff in mind. But I wrote very much thinking of myself as a singer/songwriter with a guitar and piano. Now I know that I have a chance of working with my band so with that in mind, I can hear things definitely [like] how a band may come in as I'm writing a song. It adds a little diversity."

Among the new tracks fans can expect to hear on his current jaunt is "I Can't Hear the Music," which he describes as a continuation of the sound and style found on "Back to Bedlam." His set also includes all 10 tracks from the debut, perhaps a cover (he's been known to perform the Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?") and five or six new songs.

Whereas some artists are afraid to road test new material in the age of bootlegs and the Internet, Blunt feels he needs the stage time to accurately gauge what he's got. "It just has to be done," Blunt says. "I can't limit that. I can't limit what I do on the basis of releasing it other ways. But whatever they'd release in the form of bootlegs isn't going to be the same as what I've released on an album, so it's nothing I'm going to lose sleep over."