Tortoise’s forthcoming album, as yet untitled, is set for release April 21, five years after their last album of original material, It’s All Around You. In the interim they recorded a covers album, The Brave and the Bold, with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, and toured 1996’s Millions Now Living Will Never Die. The Chicagoans have had enough of looking backwards now though and are moving resolutely forward with their new album, which promises "a lot of variety," according to bassist Doug McCombs.
The band started work on the album three years ago and originally considered just recording one long piece but, McCombs explains, "that ended up not really being possible with the material we had. I think it’s something we want to put on the back-burner." What they have come up with instead are tracks that "don’t adhere to any traditional song forms. They move through different parts, but the lines are blurred."
Although a lot of the album details seem up in the air — the album and song titles have to be decided and the string arrangements and possible vocals still have to be recorded — Tortoise are confident the album will be with fans in April and are talking about touring the album this Spring and Summer, "Waiting until the fall would have made us a little antsy," McCombs says.