U2 brought a flurry of activity to New York City over the past several days, stoking rumors about the band’s next album. All four members – Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. – were at Electric Lady Studios on Friday, where Danger Mouse was completing his mixing work on the new, untitled album, reportedly due in the fall. Coldplay‘s Chris Martin was spotted at the studio as well, though whether he was actively participating or just hanging out is unclear. Late in the day on Friday, the band went onto the Electric Lady rooftop to record an acoustic version of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” for an art project called Inside Out.
U2 have been working steadily on this album since before wrapping their 2009-2011 world tour. They originally planned on releasing a second series of songs from the No Line on the Horizon sessions titled Songs of Ascent, but it appears they’ve scrapped that idea in favor of fresh material. They worked briefly with Lady Gaga producer RedOne, but soon settled on Danger Mouse.
“We very much want to have a record out by the end of the year, September, October, November; that kind of time,” Clayton said recently. “We’re working with Danger Mouse, who’s a smart guy. He’s on it; he’s excited. It’s a great team and feels very liberating at the moment – anything goes. We have an abundance of riches, we could make three or four different records and justify that to ourselves, but to make the best record you can, you have to steer away from the ones you can make easily. We’re really trying to get into territory that we’re not comfortable in. If that makes sense.”
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In a recent interview with the Globe and Mail, producer Daniel Lanois said Bono played him tracks from the new album with Danger Mouse. “It sounded amazing,” he said. “Very, very big and powerful-sounding. Some of it was adventurous. There were shades of Achtung Baby.” That should keep fans buzzing.