“Ode to Joy,” which was released Oct. 4, displays an austere sound that requires concertgoers to the band's Sunday concert at the Palace Theatre to pay attention.

The indie-rock band Wilco is famous for reinventing itself.

Only two members still remain from the original band that formed 25 years ago: songwriter, vocalist and mastermind Jeff Tweedy and bassist John Stirratt.

“I've been there through the whole process, on every record, playing bass. I lend an ear and see how the whole thing is shaped and add what I can,” Stirratt said, speaking by phone on a bus traveling from a concert in New York to one in Washington, D.C.

Lately, there's been some down time in that process. For three years, Wilco didn't put out an album while Tweedy focused on turning out three solo albums and a memoir.

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But this year, the group — Pat Sansone (guitar), Glenn Kotche (drums), Nels Cline (guitar), Mikael Jorgensen (keyboard), Stirratt and Tweedy — is back together with a new album, the mildly ironically titled “Ode to Joy.” The band will perform songs from the album during a concert Sunday at the Palace Theatre.

“Jeff worked in the studio for a long time on arrangements and sound before we joined him,” Stirratt said. “Then the rest of us joined him later and added the touches that needed to be included. It started out as a stark recording, and it stayed that way, in many ways, but it also got more complex.”

The way Wilco operates as a band has changed radically from its earlier, more collaborative years.

“For the past three records, we haven't been arranging on the fly as we had in years past. Jeff has been doing solo records, and he has a process. He records a lot. He records every day. So things are arranged ahead of time. That's different from 'The Whole Love' days (in 2011).”

That process has meant a change in the material for Wilco's tours, too. Although “Ode to Joy” wasn't released until Oct. 4, the band started playing the songs on the album well before then.

“We did 20 shows in Europe in September, so we were able to really flesh it out and present it on a big stage in a way that it needs to be done. I think the songs have gotten a little more compelling live,” Stirratt said. “It's been worthwhile to work these songs out. In the past, we wouldn't perform new songs from a record that hadn't been released for fear of them being visible online and ruining them for the audience.”

With a relatively austere album such as this one, fans have to pay attention.

“Even for casual fans, in a theater setting, it's easier to focus on the band. We're lucky that the fans are with us and want to hear what we're doing, the way it's changed.”

Wilco has always been a traveling band, which means that Stirratt has had ample opportunity to discover what he does and doesn't like in a hotel.

“I like to have some idea of where I am when I first wake up in the morning. That's a hard thing to do, because we're still living in a world where consistency is important," he said. "Chain hotels were a welcome thing in the '50s, when people knew what they were getting. Now the younger generation wants more of a different experience. A hotel that reminds you where you are.”

So in his off time, Stirratt has been creating one of those places. Working with partners, he has totally transformed an old motel in North Adams, in western Massachusetts, into Tourists, a 48-room hotel complete with homey, regional touches and extensive walking trails. Stirratt curated the soundtrack.

“We have a short-wave FM station in the hotel, and I worked really hard over the first year and a half to create an appropriate playlist for the hotel. A lot of the playlists are time of day dependent or weather dependent. It's been fun to get into a lot of indie-folk but also go into deep, deep-cut world.”

Stirratt was drawn to the area because Wilco headlines the Solid Sound Festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams every other year.

“North Adams and the northern Berkshires are very special to Wilco and to me,” he said, “and it's been great to work there and spend more time there.”