Franz Ferdinand are streaming their new album, Always Ascending, which comes five years after previous LP Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, and is their first without guitarist Nick McCarthy, who left in 2016 and was replaced last year by Dino Bardot. Listen to the 10-track title via the player below.

“In terms of ‘naturalistic,' it’s not retrogressive but it’s about trying to make something that feels like it’s being played by humans,” frontman Alex Kapranos told the NME last year. “It’s very tempting in the studio to digitally tidy everything up – Photoshopping your music. Everything was played and nothing is programmed. It still has to be raw and have that rock ’n’ roll side to it.”

Discussing their intention of creating characters with “emotional depth” via their lyrics, he commented, “We would write and create characters the way that you would if you were a short story writer – you’d have color and backstory, that would only be hinted at in the song. That was a cool way to do it. … [W]hen you’re writing a rock ’n’ roll song, there’s always this presumption that they have to always be from personal experience to have veritas. We wanted to buck that and create characters that were even more believable and vivid than real life experience can be.”

Always Ascending is on sale now. Franz Ferdinand began a world tour this week, with North American dates from Apr. 8 to May 17.

The 50 Most Influential Alternative Musicians of the 21st Century

More From