Counting Crows are releasing a covers album, 'Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation)'.

The record is the first from the 'Mr Jones' group in four years - and also their first as an independent group, having split from record label Geffen - and features tracks originally recorded by Bob Dylan, Travis and Gram Parsons, among others.

Lead singer Adam Duritz explained: ''If you wonder why we didn't just write our own record, it's simply because we wanted to do THIS one.

''We now have the creative freedom to release albums like this and offer our fans more music than ever.''

He added that he hopes the band can introduce the songs and bands they have chosen to cover to a whole new generation.

He added: ''There's a million great songs written every day that you discover, and wish your friends could appreciate as much as you do.

''These songs come from bands young and old, stretching from the early 60s to last year. They're all great and will hopefully be heard by a few more people now.''

'Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did on Our Summer Vacation)' will be released on April 12.

A free download of the track 'Mercy', originally by Tender Mercies is available on Counting Crows' Website.