And he reveals the band's new hiphop direction...

TRAVIS have revealed the artwork for their new album on their official website, and singer FRAN HEALY has given his track-by-track thoughts on ‘The Invisible Band’, revealing that one of the songs started out as a rap!

Speaking about the track ‘Side’, he says: “Originally there was a rap – a rap, haha! – that I had that went, ‘East side, west side, up side, down side, back side, front side, inside, outside, right side, wrong side… me beside you beside, does there/Doesn’t there have to be a side’.” He describes how the lyrics evolved as the band travelled between Los Angeles, where they recorded the album, and their home in London.

He also describes how ‘The Cage’ was written in a New York hotel room, after a marathon telephone conversation with Cinjun Tate, the singer-guitarist from Remy Zero, and that ‘Safe’, which was unveiled in its present form during the band’s headline slot at Glastonbury Festival last year, is in fact one of the earliest Travis songs, dating back eight years.

“We played ‘Safe’ in very early Travis shows, I even think we were called Glass Onion at the time. There are setlists from 1993 with ‘Safe’ on. We played it a lot faster back then. It was better acoustically.”

Fran has also written a diary of the album cover photo-shoot, accompanied by photographs taken while they were on location in Santa Cruz.

The album, released on June 11 in the UK (the following day in the US), is also previewed in this week’s NME, on sale in London today (May 1) and the rest of the UK tomorrow.

The site has also announced details of the tickets for their shows at Glasgow Barrowland on June 5 and London Forum on June 6, which go on sale on May 5 at 9am (GMT). For more information and to see Fran’s diary entries, check the preview on Travisofficial site.