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Nada Surf Eyes Gibbard, Hatfield For New Album

Veteran rock outfit Nada Surf is eyeing a January release for its next Barsuk album, tentatively titled “Time for Plan A.” The set was recorded in February in Seattle with producer John Goodmanson and will likely feature guest appearances from Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, Juliana Hatfield, Harvey Danger’s Sean Nelson and the Long Winters’ John Roderick.

“We tracked maybe 20 songs. I’d say a third of those still need lyrics,” frontman Matthew Caws said of the follow-up to 2005’s “The Weight Is a Gift.” “It’s probably 70% there, but of the ones we’re going to put on, maybe three songs still need words and the other ones need to be cooked a little.”

Caws says he can’t accurately describe the sound of the album because he’s still not sure what songs will make the cut, but admits, “there is some hard rock, almost early ’80s British metal for a couple of minutes. I don’t even know if the record is going in a positive direction or a vitriolic direction. I think it’s getting weirder. But then some songs sound like Tom Petty, which is a great thing if it works and a bummer if it doesn’t.”

Seven songs feature cello accompaniment, about which Caws marvels, “It’s not cheesy and it doesn’t suck the rock out, which has happened to us before.”

Nada Surf is plotting a special September acoustic tour, which it may book by soliciting private houses to play at via MySpace. “If you have a house, can put 100 people in it and make sure it doesn’t get shut down because there are too many cars on your lawn, let’s do it,” Caws says. A brief South American tour is also in the works for October.

But beforehand, Caws and drummer Daniel Lorca will play an acoustic set at a June 3 benefit in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in an effort to save the area’s historic Domino Sugar Factory from demolition. The space is likely to be turned into luxury housing on Williamsburg’s burgeoning waterfront. “This is a neighborhood already packed way beyond capacity,” Caws says. “Taking the subway here is insane, and that’s without the 80,000 new units or whatever.”

In addition, the band’s long out-of-print “Karmic” EP will be reissued June 12 via Hi Speed Soul, the in-house imprint of San Diego record store M-Theory that is named after a song from Nada Surf’s “Let Go” album.

“Flattery will get you everywhere in that case, so we were like, ‘Sure! You want to put out our EP? Cool!,'” Caws says. “Karmic” will also include the extra track “Pressure Free,” previously only available as the B-side to Nada Surf’s second seven-inch vinyl single.