They remain as dedicated as ever to working at their own determined pace, but Walter Becker and Donald Fagen -- otherwise known as Steely Dan -- sound like they might be getting ready to end their latest long gap between studio releases.

Billboard reports that the duo recently hosted a conference call with reporters, during which they teased the eventual release of a follow-up to their last LP, 2003's 'Everything Must Go.' "It's in the air, it really is," promised Becker. "It's just a smell now. The next thing is then you taste it, then you start to feel it. You know how this goes."

Fagen added that they have "some songs, these really good ones that we only half-finished back in, like, 1984 that we keep threatening to work on," with Becker further explaining that "we did finish a couple of those. We have a bunch of things. Put it this way -- any other band in the world would have finished or mixed these old things that were lying around and issued them with a great ta-da fanfare. But we just don't. We don't play it like that, necessarily. It's not the way we roll."

For the next several months, the band will be rolling on the road; as we previously reported, Steely Dan have lined up an ambitious series of tour dates that will keep them playing to crowds through October -- some of which will include complete performances of classic LPs such as 'Aja' and 'The Royal Scam.' Tantalizing as that prospect might be for longtime fans, it'll come at the expense of new music for the time being.

"I have a really hard time writing on the road," explained Fagen, whose most recent solo album, 'Sunken Condos,' was released in 2012. "Usually writing is done, whether with Walter or not, it's when I'm really at home and have very little to do. You need to be in a kind of stasis, I think, to do that ... or else you're just sleeping. Actually, the time you could be writing songs you're probably sleeping, on the road."

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