Justin Timberlake is set to return with “Man of the Woods,” his first album in nearly five long years. And while the announcement has legions of fans reeling in anticipation, few in Boston – nay, the planet – are as excited about JT’s return as Ryan Kelley, the lead singer and mastermind of the Timberfakes, the city’s resident Justin Timberlake cover band. Not only is the band celebrating its 10th anniversary, the nine-piece collective is already prepping for the new material. (“Man of the Woods” drops Feb. 2.)
Kelley, like any true superfan, is speculating how the new LP, which is believed to reveal a more introspective side of Timberlake, will change his own band’s sound.
“In the same way the album is called ‘Man of the Woods,’ we have to figure out our own personal journey to become ‘Band of the Woods,’” Kelley said, adding that whatever direction “MOTW” takes, the Timberfakes are up for the challenge.
“We do have to evolve with him and the times, and I don’t know what shape that’s going to take,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s going to be a more acoustic path, or more country-inspired, and if that requires us to bring in someone else to help with a banjo, that’s something we’ll continue to evaluate.”
As for “Filthy,” the electro-inflected first single off “MOTW,” the Timberfakes are already adapting. They plan to open with the song at their show Saturday at the Sinclair, opening for The Power of Love, a Huey Lewis & the News tribute band.
“We love the track. I think it’s a great lead single in the same way that ‘Suit & Tie’ set the tone for the rest of ‘20/20 Experience,’ ” Kelley said. “I feel like this is a great introduction to the next evolution of Justin as an artist, as a father, and as a husband.”