Tennessee alt country stalwarts Lambchop have today revealed plans for their next album, which will be coming out on February 21st 2012, marking the end of the longest break they’ve ever taken between albums, which will be about three and a half years. The album will be called Mr. M and will come out through their longtime label Merge. (Europe will receive it on February 20th through City Slang.)

A big part of the reasoning for the relatively long break between albums was the loss of Vic Chesnutt, with whom Lambchop recorded 1998’s The Salesman and Bernadette. Lambchop’s leader Kurt Wagner took out his grief by beginning to paint, and he claims that the origins of Mr. M came out of this painting.

Wagner:

“As I worked, I was approached by Mark Nevers (former full time band member & producer for the likes of Andrew Bird and Will Oldham) with the idea of making another Lambchop record. He had a concept of a sound and a method that worked with the tone of my writing. His idea was a kind of ‘psycha-Sinatra’ sound, one that involved the arranging of strings and other sounds in a more open and yet complex way.

It was a studio creation, not a type of recording based on band performance, and this was a radical approach for us. I felt Lambchop had one more good record in us, and this time I was going to do things as directly and true to my desires as possible.”

You can get an idea of this ‘psych-Sinatra’ sound by grabbing the free download of Mr. M‘s opening track “If Not I’ll Just Die below.

Lambchop – “If Not I’ll Just Die”

You can pre-order Mr. M now from the Merge Records store. Albums will come with a free poster while stocks last and the first 150 people to order will receive an album signed by Kurt Wagner.