Ben Lee, Portrait of the Artist As A High School Graduate

Getting ready to tour.

Australian teen fave Ben Lee just wrapped up work on his new, still-untitled

solo album in Los Angeles according to sources at his label, Grand Royal. Lee

recorded the 22 new songs at the Beastie Boys' G-Son studios with producer

extrordinare Brad Wood (Liz Phair, Veruca Salt) over the past month, laying

down most of the tracks in about two-and-a-half weeks including "Ketchum," a

song cryptically-described as being "about Hemingway."

The list of guests

who appear on this all-acoustic, folky set are as offbeat as you'd expect from

one of the brightest (and youngest) stars in the growing GR stable: Brad Wood

on drums and bass, Beastie Mike D (drums), Hole's Melissa Auf Der Maur (backing

vocals on two songs), Petra Hayden and her sister (violin, cello),

Al Bloch (My Favorite Martian), the brother of the Fastbacks' Kurt Bloch

(bass on one track), Grand Royal staff member Jamie Fraser (theremin), Patrick

Yonally (Johnny Go!) laid down some slide guitar and avant accordionist Miss

Mergatroid squeezed her box a few tunes.

Our source described it as a

"very folk-oriented record that's definitely more rootsy than the Noise Addict

stuff." Lee, who recently turned 18, just graduated from high school and will

celebrate the April release of his album by hitting the road in February with

Sebadoh. No word yet on who Lee will take on the road (although Brad Wood has

been known to sit in with him in the past).