Lifehouse on New Album 'Almeria': 'Our Sound Needed To Evolve'

Lifehouse on New Album 'Almeria': 'Our Sound Needed To Evolve'

New album, out December 11, is previewed by Natasha Bedingfield collaboration "Between The Raindrops."

Lifehouse wanted "to shake things up" on its sixth album, "Almería," which the quartet will release on Dec. 11.

"We all had this urgency in our gut that we couldn't even articulate," frontman Jason Wade tells Billboard. "We just knew we had to go back to the drawing board and try something new. We felt like our sound needed to evolve and to change. This album was very in-the-moment, not premeditated, just a lot of waiting around for moments to happen on their own instead of forcing something and trying to manipulate it. It was very freeing."

Wade says "Almería," produced by longtime Lifehouse mentor Jude Cole and recorded in Box Canyon, Calif., was created in two distinct waves. During the first, the group mixed writing and recording sessions with weekend concerts. "We never unplugged the touring machine," Wade explains. "Monday through Friday we just started to get together around 4 p.m. for these nonchalant jam sessions. It's almost like we were reverting back to being teenagers in our parents' garages, which felt really good. We thought we were making this cool, 70s rock album." That lasted until earlier this year, when Wade came up with "Almería's" first single, "Between the Raindrops," which features a duet with Natasha Bedingfield and was developed over a three-and-a-half month period by Wade, Cole and co-writer Jacob Kasher and marked a return to a more meticulous but still new approach.

"After 'Between the Raindrops' was written I got this surge of creative energy and I came up with this song...called 'Nobody Listen,' " Wade recalls. "I just went in with this blank canvas and started throwing stuff down on tape and the track just came to life. I've never written like this before... The songwriting process really evolved, and it was kind of unprecedented. In a way we kind of bypassed the whole demo process."

The result on "Almería," Wade says, is "a confluence of both" creative approaches, as well as what he calls "this kind of spaghetti western undercurrent that's present throughout the record." Mostly, however, he feels that the group "took all of our different musical influences and they coalesce together and live in the same space. So by not putting any rules and guidelines and burning the blueprints about how to make a Lifehouse album, it was actually really freeing."

Lifehouse will perform "Between the Raindrops" on Oct. 30 on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and is planning some special holiday-related shows to support "Almería's" release. A full tour is expected for 2013.