Blur are to release their first album in eight years.
The ‘Parklife’ group will bring out ‘The Ballad of Darren’ – their first record since 2015’s ‘The Magic Whip’ – on 21 July, and the first track from the record, ‘The Narcissist’, is out now, ahead of the band’s four intimate warm-up gigs this month, which kick off with a hometown show at Colchester Arts Centre on Friday (19.05.23).
Frontman Damon Albarn explained the album offers “reflection and comment” on where they are in their lives now.
He said in a statement:“This is an aftershock record, reflection and comment on where we find ourselves now.”
Guitarist Graham Coxon added: “The older and madder we get, it becomes more essential that what we play is loaded with the right emotion and intention. Sometimes just a riff doesn’t do the job.”
Meanwhile, drummer Dave Rowntree insisted there was no awkwardness between the ‘She’s So High’ hitmakers as they returned to the studio together after such a long absence, and bassist Alex James enjoyed seeing them surprise one another.
Alex said: “For any long term relationship to last with any meaning you have to be able to surprise each other somehow and somehow we all continue to do that.”
Dave added: “It always feels very natural to make music together. With every record we do, the process reveals something new and we develop as a band. We don’t take that for granted.”
‘The Ballad of Darren’ – which is produced by James Ford – will be available as a 10-song digital download and stream, CD, and vinyl.
In addition, a deluxe CD with two extra tracks and expanded packaging will also go on sale, and exclusive to blur.co.uk will be a deluxe vinyl, pressed on 12″ clear vinyl with black swirls, in a gatefold sleeve, with poster, bonus 7” vinyl, album CD (12 tracks) and integrated booklet, including exclusive handwritten notes, sketches and lyrics; and a cassette.