'Conchords' tunes take off early online


HBO's "Flight of the Conchords" returns Sunday for Season 2, and this time fans will be able to purchase music from each episode the day after it airs.

An as-yet-untitled album featuring 10 tracks from the show plus five additional songs will be available April 14, shortly after the conclusion of the 10-episode season. The first song, "Angels," goes live Jan. 19 on iTunes. Fans also can preorder the album through SubPop.com and receive one track per week.

The New Zealand duo, whose bumbling adventures in life and the music business are at the heart of the show, has emerged as one of the biggest success stories in comedy during the past two years.

Its 2007 Sub Pop debut, the EP "The Distant Future," won a Grammy for best comedy album. And its self-titled full-length debut, released in April, has sold 237,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, and is up for a Grammy in the same category.

Because the songs used in the show often are only a minute long, the versions on the album will be quite different.

"More than one of them leans on a '70s soul sound," Sub Pop head of A&R Tony Kiewel said. "I've also heard this choir-y sort of thing, a Meat Loaf-y sort of thing and a crazy top 40-type jam."

Mickey Petralia, who produced the debut, is back on board, and Kiewel said Sia provides backing vocals on at least one song. A North American tour is targeted for April or May.

Jonathan Cohen is senior editor at Billboard.