One Direction announces album after split speculation

One Direction in a screenshot from the video announcing their new album.
One Direction in a screenshot from the video announcing their new album.TWITTER

NEW YORK (AFP) - One Direction on Tuesday announced a new album for later this year, putting to rest speculation of an imminent breakup following the departure of Zayn Malik.

The British boy band said that Made In The A.M. would come out on Nov 13.

The album is the fifth by the pop sensations, with one released every year since 2011, always in November - in time for the holiday shopping season.

The four remaining members of the band made the announcement in a short video posted on Twitter.

Band member Harry Styles promised an "instant treat" of one song, entitled Infinity, available for download to fans who pre-order the album.

The album marks a new "direction" for the band in one sense - it will be the first without Malik, a founding member who split in March.

Malik's departure led to surprisingly bitter exchanges on social media among the former bandmates who until then had carefully maintained a squeaky-clean public image.

In another break from the youthful past, member Louis Tomlinson, 23, recently confirmed that he is going to be a father with a Los Angeles stylist.

The personal changes led to speculation that One Direction was finished, especially given the notoriously short shelf-life of boy bands.

Member Niall Horan denied the rumours on Twitter last month, writing: "We are not splitting up, but we will be taking a well-earned break at some point next year."

Amid the tumult, the band has been on tour for most of the year, starting in February in Australia. The tour is scheduled to conclude on Oct 30 in Sheffield, England.

One Direction released its first track without Malik last month - Drag Me Down, which quickly went to the top of singles charts.

One Direction stormed onto the scene in 2010 when the then-teenagers appeared on British talent show The X Factor.

The band has since sold more than 65 million albums, according to its label.