Paul Westerberg has signed a multi-album deal with Los Angeles-based independent label Vagrant and will release a two-CD set April 23, Billboard exclusively reveals this week. The package will contain

Paul Westerberg has signed a multi-album deal with Los Angeles-based independent label Vagrant and will release a two-CD set April 23, Billboard exclusively reveals this week. The package will contain a single-disc Westerberg solo album, "Stereo," featuring a collection of acoustic-leaning songs, plus an entire new album from the former Replacements leader's punk-veering side project, Grandpaboy, titled "Mono." Appropriately, the Westerberg album was recorded in stereo; the Grandpaboy effort in mono.

Westerberg tells Billboard that the albums together will "instantly sound like the first Replacements record, and it'll sound a lot like my last solo record." The artist dropped out of sight shortly after Capitol issued his coldly received 1999 set "Suicaine Gratification," which was produced by Don Was.

"The fact that I wasn't on a label, didn't have a deal, [and] didn't have the responsibility to produce anything that sounded like anything else, I was able to amass so many songs that I found myself with one big pile of quiet songs and one big pile of rock'n'roll songs," Westerberg says.

Westerberg is also considering a return to the road. "I'm gonna have to come out of my hole and rear my ugly head ? How actually and [with] what configuration, I'm not sure yet," he admits.

The artist can currently be heard covering the Beatles' "Nowhere Man" on the V2 soundtrack to "I Am Sam," which was released this week in North America.

Billboard's exclusive interview with Paul Westerberg appears in the Jan. 19 issue. For an expanded version of that story, click here

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