…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have announced their 11th album, XI: Bleed Here Now, due July 15 via Dine Alone in North America and Century Media in Europe (pre-order). It was produced by the band's own Conrad Keely and Jason Reece alongside past collaborator Charles Godfrey, it features string arrangements, guest vocals from Amanda Palmer and Spoon's Britt Daniel, and it was made in quadrophonic surround sound. Conrad spoke more about that in the bio that he penned for the album:

For those who aren’t recording engineers, it’s important to note the difference: you don’t record an album in surround. You just record like you’ve always recorded. You mix the album in surround. However, if you have the intention of mixing in surround to begin with, you suddenly find yourself making slightly broader decisions when approaching the recording. For instance, tracking our friends in the Tosca String Quartet for the live string arrangements on the opening theme Our Epic Attempts and the Bridgerton-esque (as we jokingly called it) string performance on "Millennium Actress," we set up the mics with the idea that we could mix them into four channels rather than two. When doing the vocals for "Growing Divide," we thought how cool it would be to have our friend Britt Daniel come in to sing one of the harmonies, so that we could have four different voices separated out between two stereo mixes. And although our old friend Amanda Palmer was now living in New Zealand (the only artist on the album who was not recorded here in Austin, Texas), wouldn’t a male-female vocal duet with her sound amazing, separated front and back?

Conrad also spoke about wanting to get back to the "Golden Age of rock music. You know the one: back before Autotune (pronounced with a German accent, for some reason), before Pro Tools, before these stultifying, mind-numbing levels of compression had made sound files look like perfect Lego blocks instead of rising and falling tides of atmospheric evolution." To do that, they took influence from "VH1’s Behind The Music and Classic Albums documentaries of the albums we loved––Led Zeppelin, Rush, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd," and aimed to make the album the way so many of those were made, in "a spot we could afford to lease for a couple months so that we never felt stressed for time, and in a relaxing location that would put us at complete ease and make us look forward to showing up every day."

Two songs are out now, "No Confidence" and "Salt In Your Eyes," and you can definitely hear the musical influence of that '70s rock era on these too. The former is sludgy, heavy psych, while the latter brings in staccato piano and multi-layered vocal harmonies that would sit nicely next to McCartney or Queen. Check out both below.

Trail of Dead

01 Our Epic Attempts
02 Long Distance Hell
03 Field Song
04 Penny Candle
05 No Confidence
06 String Theme
07 Kill Everyone
08 Growing Divide [ft. Britt Daniel]
09 Pigments
10 Golden Sail
11 A Life Less Melancholy
12 Taken by the Hand
13 Contra Mundum
14 Darkness Into Light
15 Water Tower
16 Sounds of Horror
17 Protest Streets
18 The Widening of Gyre
19 Millenium Actress [ft. Amanda Palmer]
20 Salt in Your Eyes
21 English Magic
22 Calm as the Valley

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