The band start sessions in Canada

R.E.M have begun recording their new album in Vancouver.

As previously reported, the band have hired Bloc Party and Snow Patrol producer Jacknife Lee to work with them on the follow-up to 2004’s ‘Around The Sun’.

According to fansite murmurs.com, the band plan to spend a few weeks in the Canadian city before heading to Dublin to work on the rest of the record.

While in the Irish capital, R.E.M will play five sold-out ‘working rehearsal’ dates at the Olympia Theatre on June 30 and July 1, 3, 4 and 5.

Frontman Michael Stipe said of the shows: “Returning to Dublin for our live rehearsal this summer provides the great start we need for our next albums work. I intend to hit the ground running.”

Bassist Mike Mills added: “I’ve seen so many great shows at the Olympia, from The Waterboys to Lou Reed, and am thrilled to play at this wonderful venue, and in front of some of the best fans in the world, too.”

There is no release date for the record as yet, but it is thought that a late 2007 release is likely.