"I was hiding behind the bombast and rhythm guitar, riffs and hooks," Lewis says of her days with The Licks. "So it took five years to cut my teeth and really develop as a musical force and songwriter and gain the courage to now let my voice roar and emote."

Now, her new project, Juliette Lewis and the New Romantiques, have completed their first album, Terra Incognita. Rock!

After meeting the Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez-Lopez at Japan's Fugi Rock Festival, the two chatted about collaborating. The pair quickly bonded over Fellini movies and the relationship between drama and music.

Lewis wrote most of the 11 tracks that would become the New Romantiques' debut album, Terra Incognita, with her friend, guitarist Chris Watson, over the past year. She and Rodriguez-Lopez recorded for three weeks at his Brooklyn and Guadalajara studios in late 2008, with a very specific cast of musicians Rodriguez-Lopez thought best suited the project; Rich Costey (Nine Inch Nails, Muse) mixed the LP at New York's famed Electric Lady Studios. The result is a stunning album of epic sonic scope and complex emotional journeys that Lewis says "is my version of whatever soul is." On this record, "I let the haunted woman come through – the tormented blues soul singer – as well as my full-throttle rock voice."

You can stream 4 new tracks over at their Space. I'm hooked!