Mark Knopfler is streaming his new album, Tracker, online several days before its March 17 release.

As previously reported, the new LP — the eighth of the former Dire Straits frontman's solo career — will be supported with European and North American tour dates, and finds him working in the same quietly reflective vein he's inhabited for much of his time as a recording artist.

"The album title Tracker arrived out of me trying to find my way over the decades,” Knopfler has explained. "Out of me tracking time – looking at people, places and things from my past, and out of the process of tracking as in recording tracks in the studio."

The full album stream, which you can access above, follows the release of Tracker's first single, "Beryl," which arrived in January and added another chapter to the long Knopfler tradition of using historical events and figures (in this case, novelist Beryl Bainbridge) as a means of exploring the human condition. Admitting to Rolling Stone that his sound and style are probably less in vogue than ever, Knopfler professed to be perfectly happy with his spot outside the zeitgeist.

"The 'music industry' is not a term I use. I tend to concentrate on music, and the music business is something different," he pointed out, adding that he was encouraged by the response he got from giving friends physical copies of the album instead of simply slinging around email attachments. "They said it made a real difference that I'd done that. It's a different thing from people downloading. If you actually buy the record and give it to somebody, it makes a difference. Maybe the idea of giving somebody a record as a present will come back."

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