David Bottrill produced the record, after having previously worked with Tool, Muse, Silverchair, Remy Zero and dEUS. James Brown, who worked on the band's 2006 album Meds, engineered. It is also the first album with the new drummer, Steve Forrest.
On Battle for the Sun, the band uses new instruments, such as trumpets and saxophones. The material has influences from such bands as PJ Harvey and My Bloody Valentine. It is a heavier-sounding record compared to its predecessor. Frontman Brian Molko said on the concept of the album:
"We've made a record about choosing life, about choosing to live, about stepping out of the darkness and into the light. Not necessarily turning your back on the darkness because it's there, it's essential; it's a part of who you are, but more about the choice of standing in the sunlight instead."
Molko has also stated that Battle for the Sun is the band's first album with a discernible thematic unity. Molko states that his favourite track from the album is Speak in Tongues
The album was released as a download, CD, limited edition CD + DVD, LP, and a limited edition box set.
The box set features the full album plus two extra studio tracks, a CD to access exclusive live recorded tracks, a DVD of the December 2008 Angkor Wat performance, a DVD of exclusive studio footage and a 32 page photo book featuring exclusive artwork, photos and handwritten lyrics as well as the full album on 2 x Heavy Vinyl LP.
The title track Battle For The Sun debuted on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show March 17, 2009. After the world première, it became available for free download on the band's official site.
The album was made available for streaming on the band's official website between May 29th and May 31st, 2009.
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