Portishead is the latest band to follow the trend of releasing their album online before the high street.

The band, who first came to fame in 1995, will release their new album on a music streaming service a week before it goes on sale in the shops.

All 11 tracks from the album, Third, will be available from 21 April on Last.fm.

It will be free to listen to the tracks online, but users will have to pay to download the tunes to their computer or digital music player.

Martin Stiksel, Last.fm co-founder, said: "Portishead was the first artist we ever uploaded to Last.fm, and 'Cowboys' from their second album was the first track ever played when we went live in 2002. So it's hugely appropriate that we kick off what aims to be an ongoing series of exclusive album previews with the band that helped us kick off Last.fm".

This is the first time that Last.fm, which offers free access to the largest licensed catalogue of music on the Web, has collaborated with an individual artist to exclusively premier an album before its official release.

Last.fm say it hopes to be offering more exclusive album premieres throughout 2008.

The album will be available from Monday 21 April.