Spoon has entered drummer Jim Eno's home studio in Austin, Texas, to begin work on a new album. According to frontman Britt Daniel, the new Merge set will be released in the first half of 2007 if the

Spoon has entered drummer Jim Eno's home studio in Austin, Texas, to begin work on a new album. According to frontman Britt Daniel, the new Merge set will be released in the first half of 2007 if the foursome finishes recording it by the end of this summer.

The as-yet-untitled effort will be co-produced by Mike McCarthy, who helped helm the band's last three albums (2005's "Gimme Fiction," 2002's "Kill the Moonlight" and 2001's "Girls Can Tell"). Though the songs so far have been penned on piano and guitar, the band has "found and captured" a number of new instruments to incorporate into the arrangements.

"We're busy looking for instruments we've never played before. So far we have an electric harpsichord, a bunch of harmonicas and these weird Japanese instruments," Daniel tells Billboard.com from his home in Portland, Ore. "We want [the new record] to be wild. We want to do something we haven't done before."

The band intends to test out the new material on the road this fall, either headlining or possibly supporting an unnamed "big" band starting in August. "Let's put it this way -- if it works out, they'd definitely be taking us out rather than the other way around," he says.

Additionally, Spoon will reissue its first two full-length albums by the end of the year via Merge. "Soft Effects" and "Telephono," which have been out of print for five years, will be remastered and combined onto a single disc with all the original art.

Time permitting, Daniel hopes to complete his first solo record by the end of the year as well, using some of the material that he's performed at his own shows. "It's been my goal to finish two records in one year, so we'll see," he says.

In the midst of all these projects, Daniel recently wrote a song titled "They Make the Paintings" for a movie musical created by director Brett Vapnek. Vapnek has recruited bands like Sleater-Kinney and the Shins to contribute to the effort, tentatively titled "The City." There is no release date set for the effort.

Daniel also contributed original instrumental tracks and previously released Spoon songs to the film "Stranger Than Fiction," which is due for theatrical release in November.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print