The Raconteurs have confirmed their new album is due for a surprise release on March 25th.

The indie five-piece which features Jack White and Brendan Benson have announced that their second album, Consolers of the Lonely, will be "available everywhere" from Tuesday.

Having done almost no public relations for the album, fans and retailers alike could be caught unawares by the 14-track follow-up to their 2006 album Broken Boy Soldiers - as the band intended by rushing its release.

In a press release, the Raconteurs said they wished "to get the album to the fans as soon as possible and as we promised".

"We wanted to get this record to fans, the press, radio, etc, all at the exact same time so that no one has an upper hand on anyone else regarding its availability, reception or perception."

However, the statement denied that the surprise announcement was intended to counter internet leaks which have caused the early release of a number of albums, such as Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP.

"In event that the record leaks, we didn't want this method of release to be seen as a reaction to such a leak," they wrote. "It's not. The actual worst thing about a leak is the usual poor sound quality, akin to watching a movie on a wristwatch instead of in a theatre.

"Which for the album's creators is a bit of a letdown, but again, it is completely up to the listener."

The statement also added that while the band prefer that fans buy the album as a whole rather than purchasing individual tracks, it will be sold in that fashion "until iTunes and other digital services allows bands to release their albums with the option of not breaking it up".

Japanese listeners will be able to download Consolers of the Lonely on their mobile phones while a video for the lead single, Salute Your Solution, will also appear online on March 25th.

19/03/2008 09:46:47