Blur will release their first album in eight years this summer.
The Ballad Of Darren features 10 new tracks and will be released on July 21 via Parlophone. Lead single The Narcissist is out now - it was premiered on BBC Radio 6 Music by Steve Lamacq, who interviewed the band.
Produced by James Ford and recorded at Studio 13, London and Devon, The Ballad Of Darren is the band’s ninth studio album. It is their first since the chart-topping The Magic Whip (125,282 sales - Official Charts Company) in 2015. The sleeve artwork features an image by British photographer Martin Parr.
Blur are comprised of their original line-up. The band are marking the 30th anniversary of their Modern Life If Rubbish album.
Speaking about the new LP, Damon Albarn said: “This is an aftershock record, reflection and comment on where we find ourselves now.”
Graham Coxon said: “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.”
Alex James 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 Rowntree said: “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 surprise announcement comes ahead of their homecoming concert at Colchester Arts Centre tomorrow (May 19). The low-key gig will launch a run of warm-up performances for their summer shows.
Blur’s first ever show at London’s Wembley Stadium, scheduled for Saturday, July 9, sold out in minutes. A second Wembley Stadium show was added for Sunday, July 9.
The complete tracklisting for The Ballad Of Darren is:
St Charles Square
The Everglades (For Leonard)
Far Away Island
MAIN PHOTO: Reuben Bastienne-Lewis