The 32-year-old singer spoke to Rolling Stone about the record ahead of its release in August. The album is a soundtrack for the Mark Jackson film War Story, and Lee collaborated with composer and cellist Dave Eggar on the project.
"[Jackson would] provide this framework, a map, of 'OK, I want you to make the listener feel these certain rangers of emotion, make the character feel broken or isolated,'" she shared. "You have these starting off points, and it's cool because it forces you to write differently. I felt like I was exercising a different part of my brain."
"[The film is] very dark," she acknowledged. "We're calling the album Aftermath in part because the film itself is about the aftermath, it's not about the war. It's called War Story, but you never see any war. It's about the aftermath of her dealing with the tragedy that she's witnessed."
Lee likened the process to "working in this big, black open playing field," and said she "always wanted to do a score." The singer appreciated the opportunity to demonstrate her talents as programmer, producer and arranger, and to do something different from her band, Evanescence.
"I've loved my time with Evanescence," she qualified. "I wouldn't just want to throw it away, but, for the foreseeable future, I don't have any plans to do anything with the band. It's really important to me to take some time to show some different sides of myself."
Aftermath is scheduled for release August 25.