Britpop icons blur have announced the forthcoming release of their new album "The Ballad of Darren," set to land on July 21, 2023.
Britpop legacy act blur have announced the forthcoming release of their new album The Ballad of Darren, which is set to land on July 21, 2023.
The band’s first album in 8 years, it features 10 new tracks produced by James Ford, and was recorded at Studio 13 in London and Devon.
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The first track from the album, titled “The Narcissist,” has been released, alongside an animated visualizer. The Hockney-esque album artwork for The Ballad of Darren features an image by legendary British photographer Martin Parr.
Band members Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James, and Dave Rowntree have all shared their thoughts on the album, expressing the current significance of creating emotional and intentional music, and their continued commitment to developing as a band.
“This is an aftershock record, reflection and comment on where we find ourselves now,” said Albarn.
“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, guitarist Graham Coxon added.
Bassist Alex James commented: “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.”
“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,” said drummer Dave Rowntree.
Today’s surprise announcement comes ahead of the band’s return to the place where it all began – Colchester, Essex*– for their first ever performance at local landmark Colchester Arts Centre tomorrow, marking the start of a short run of warm-up performances which will see the blur visit Eastbourne Winter Gardens on 21st May, The Halls Wolverhampton on 26th May and O2 City Hall Newcastle on 28th May.
These warm-up dates are kicking off a summer of highly-anticipated live shows which will bring the band together again to perform their iconic and much-loved songs across Europe over the coming months. The band’s first ever show at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday 8th July sold out in minutes – with a second Wembley Stadium show added for Sunday 9th July.
The complete tracklisting for The Ballad of Darren is:
- The Ballad
- St Charles Square
- Russian Strings
- The Everglades (For Leonard)
- The Narcissist
- Goodbye Albert
- Far Away Island
- The Heights
The Ballad of Darren will be available as a Digital Download & Stream (10 tracks as above); Standard CD (10 tracks) and Deluxe CD (12 tracks, w. expanded packaging), Standard Vinyl LP – 12” heavyweight black vinyl; and – exclusive to blur.co.uk – 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 Cassette (10 tracks).
Pre order The Ballad of Darren here.