U.K. rock act Mojave 3 will release its fifth studio album, "Puzzles Like You," June 6 via 4AD.

U.K. rock act Mojave 3 will release its fifth studio album, "Puzzles Like You," June 6 via 4AD. The 11-track follow up to 2003's "Spoon and Rafter" reveals a more upbeat and poppy side of the group, led by former Slowdive principal Neil Halstead.

"We really just wanted to keep things interesting and change the pace," Halstead tells Billboard.com. "We all wanted a more pop feel, but there was no real reason in changing up our sound this time. I think we just wanted to get out of the box a bit."

The album took around eight months to record and finish. "Most of the time was working on mixing -- we spent a lot of time recording and re-recording," Halstead says. "Our last album was much more organic, and I think it sounds that way. On this one, there was a lot of re-arranging, a lot of buggering around. And it was a bit more challenging for us, because they're pop songs."

"The songs are more abstract, but the album isn't really about anything. Relationships, I guess. No big stuff," Halstead adds with a chuckle.

"Puzzles Like You" was produced by Mojave 3 then sent to New York to be mixed by Victor Van Vugt (PJ Harvey, Nick Cave). "He fine-tuned everything and made it sound proper," Halstead says. "When your band does the production, you become really close to it. It made it much harder to see. It really helped to have someone from the outside."

Mojave 3 is planning to support "Puzzles" with a North American tour in September. Halstead also has plans to work on his second solo record this year.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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