British alternative rock band the Happy Mondays are recording a new album, which they hope to release early next year, Billboard.com can reveal.

The set is earmarked for a possible early 2009 release. "It's sounding good," says singer Shaun Ryder, speaking exclusively to Billboard at the exhibition launch of design studio Central Station, at the Richard Goodall Gallery, Manchester. "We had a few tracks left over from the last Mondays' album [2007s Uncle Dysfunktional], so we thought that we might as well do another one."

The as-yet untitled record is currently being recorded at Stockport's Moulin Rouge Studio. It will be the sixth album in the band's 20-year history and the second since they reformed in 2007, following a fifteen-year absence from recording.

As far as the tentative release date is concerned, Ryder did concede that where the Happy Mondays are concerned, any eventuality is possible.

"Knowing us, it'll probably come out in about two years time," says a deadpan Ryder. "I mean, the other one [Uncle Dysfunktional], we had that in the can for, what, two years before that got released, because of legal problems. It took us eight or nine years to sort out all that. So we've now got ourselves a new set of legal problems, which will probably take another few years to sort out and then we can get this one out."

The singer also revealed that he has contributed vocals to several tracks by unsigned Manchester-based band, Some Other Guy.

"One of them is a poem - a John Copper Clarke, rap sort of thing. I'm just talking, sounding very common and the other one is me doing Frank Sinatra over some really nice atmospheric music," said Ryder.

The record is set to be released as a limited edition 7" single later this year.

Happy Mondays will be playing a series of European and festival dates this summer, beginning with an appearance at the Synch Festival, Athens on June 13.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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