Artwork of Albert Hammond Jr. "Melodies On Hiatus"

The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. surprised many of us by making the lead single and opening track from his new album a collaboration with DC rapper Goldlink and experimenting with Auto-Tune. There are more surprises where that came from. Hammond’s new 19-track album Melodies On Hiatus doesn’t drop in full until late June, but the first nine songs are out now.

“I think this is the best collection of music that I have made,” Hammond wrote in a statement accompanying Melodies On Hiatus. “I wasn’t trying to make a double album; I wanted to make a deconstruction of a band.” He wrote the album long-distance with Simon Wilcox, who penned lyrics to go with Hammond’s melodies. Later the statement continues:

I was in one place when I made the album and then another place now, and the music and lyrics still hit as hard. That’s the meaning of it. I wrote it in one way, life ended up in a different way, and it still resonates with me. I think it has a story, an arc, and I tried to make it varied musically and melodically so it felt like something spanning a career and not just an album. This is this guy’s life, sonically.

Hear the first half of that story below, where you can also find the video for new single “Old Man.”

The rest of Melodies On Hiatus is out 6/23 on Red Bull.