Sarah McLachlan To Start Recording New LP

Singer/songwriter's recording schedule makes fourth edition of summer Lilith Fair tour unlikely this year.

Sarah McLachlan, who told the world in 1999 that she needed a sabbatical after three years of promoting records, fighting off a lawsuit and spreading the Lilith gospel, is at last heading back to the studio.

The Canadian singer/songwriter this month will begin recording her first album in four years, her manager said.

McLachlan took most of last year off, after a period in which she promoted her 1997 album, Surfacing, organized and played on the successful female-artists festival tour, Lilith Fair, and fought — and won — a legal battle with a former collaborator. The new disc will be her fifth album.

McLachlan's recording plans make a fourth edition of Lilith Fair unlikely for the summer. "[Her album] is first and foremost," Terry McBride, her manager, said Wednesday. "We have no current plans for Lilith Fair."

The folk-pop singer had said previously that the tour, which ran the summers of 1997, 1998 and 1999, may be resurrected at some point. Despite initial reservations by some in the music business, Lilith Fair's inaugural outing was the top package-festival of 1997, with a lineup that included McLachlan, Fiona Apple, Victoria Williams, the Indigo Girls and Jewel. The subsequent two tours also were hugely successful.

Arista Records had no information on when McLachlan's new album is expected to hit stores.

Surfacing, which featured the single "Building a Mystery", debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Following its release, McLachlan contributed music to several cause-related projects, provided the theme song, "I Will Remember You," to the "Brothers McMullen" movie and released a live album, Mirrorball, in 1999.