Ambitious Franz Ferdinand guitarist NICK McCARTHY has joined forces with his wife to record a new album.

The side project, called Box Codax, sees McCarthy teamed with his wife-of-six-months MANUELA on vocals. The pair married last summer (05), notoriously giving up a Live 8 slot to tie the knot.

But McCarthy confesses being a newlywed is harder work than anticipated, because the pair are apart so often. He hopes the new venture will see them spend more time together, albeit at work.

He says, "I am enjoying the stability of marriage but it's difficult to keep her happy with all the travelling."

The couple's first single, NAKED SMILE, will be followed by an as-yet-untitled album later next year (06).