From the Yahoo Group - posted by someone at their record company:
I've now heard the material that will make up the new record as, I'm
guessing, have one or two friends of the band also on this list. They
gave us early versions to help w/ sequencing. A listening party of
the mastered record was held on Valentine's day -- though I was
seeing Arcade Fire at Judson Church.
The music is great, perhaps a bit more of a mellow vibe than
Alligator overall -- perhaps somewhere between the Cherry Tree mellow/
beautiful sound and the Alligator more up-beat/rocking sound. Most
notable about the record is that it has the best arrangements they've
done, by far, and there's some unexpected & wonderful new elements
that you haven't heard before. Think trumpets, and other brass
instruments; increased use of female backing vocals; excellent piano
bits by Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman & sideman to David Byrne, Bebel
Gilberto, Laurie Anderson, The Frames, Yoko Ono); and possible even
some playing by band friend, Sufjan Stevens.
Thematically it intertwines songs about love, songs about war, and
songs about office life. Or, more correctly, songs that are about all
three topics at the same time."
Really interesting about Sufjan possible being on the album, wonder if he'll make an appearence at the Astoria.