NEIL Hannon will release The Divine Comedy's first studio album since 2010's Bang Goes The Knighthood on September 2 in the form of Foreverland.

Hannon's 11th album under his Divine moniker will be backed up by 18 British and Irish dates in October and early 2017, with European shows in between. Tickets for his Yorkshire gigs, at Leeds City Varieties Music Hall on October 11 and The Foundry in Sheffield on October 15, go on sale on Friday from 9am via

Since The Divine Comedy’s inception in 1989, Hannon has proved himself an ever original songwriting voice. Foreverland affirms this once more with its references to everything from Catherine The Great to the French Foreign Legion. "It's about meeting your soul mate and living happily ever after... and then what comes after happily ever after," says Hannon of his new record. "Get ready for the most historically inaccurate hit of the summer."

Full of "lush landscapes and tales of the heart", the album comprises 12 new songs, including the aforementioned Catherine The Great, To The Rescue and Funny Peculiar.

York Press:

The artwork for The Divine Comedy's September 2 album, Foreverland

Foreverland will be issued in myriad formats, the deluxe CD coming with a bonus disc of a studio recording of In May, Hannon and Frank Alva Buecheler’s chamber opera. Exploring the relationship between a dying son and his absent father through a series of letters, it is sung by Hannon with a string quintet and piano. The first 500 copies ordered across all physical formats through will be signed by Hannon.

In the absence of a new Divine Comedy recording since 2010, Hannon has nevertheless kept himself busy with other projects. He co-wrote a second album of cricket-themed songs for The Duckworth Lewis Method with his partner in flannels, Thomas Walsh; composed a choral work for the Royal Festival Hall's newly renovated organ, entitled To Our Fathers In Distress, and oversaw the transfer of his musical, Swallows And Amazons, to the West End stage.

He also performed a solo show, The Divine Comedy: An Evening With Neil Hannon, at York Minster in May 2011, when he combined songs of whimsy, wit, wordplay and wisdom with reading aloud extracts from a pocket guide to the Minster. Memorably, he said the experience of performing in Northern Europe's biggest Gothic cathedral was "awesome".