Blur | Photo by Reuben Bastienne-Lewis

Blur Announce New Album and Share First Single

Blur have announced their new album, titled The Ballad Of Darren, will arrive on Friday, 21st July. It’s the Britpop band’s first new album since The Magic Whip back in 2015. Alongside the album announcement, the band have shared the first single of the record, a cold, echoey cut called ‘The Narcissist’ that captures frontman Damon Albarn in a moment of reflection.

In a statement about The Ballad Of Darren, Albarn said the album is an “aftershock” record. “This is… a reflection and comment on where we find ourselves now,” he said.

Blur: ‘The Narcissist’

“The older and madder we get, it becomes more essential that what we play is loaded with the right emotion and intention,” said guitarist Graham Coxon. “Sometimes just a riff doesn’t do the job.”

Bassist Alex James likened the band to a longterm relationship, saying the four-piece needed to be able to surprise each other after all these years and “somehow we all continue to do that”.

Drummer Dave Rowntree – who released his solo debut, Radio Songs, in January 2023 – said every Blur record “reveals something new, and we develop as a band.” “We don’t take that for granted,” he added.

James, Rowntree, Coxon and Albarn in the 1990s (by Kevin Westenberg)

Albarn started writing music for The Ballad Of Darren in early 2022, when he was on tour with Gorillaz; the band reportedly ducked into the studio with producer James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode) in early 2023 to pull it all together.

Albarn may have taken time away from Blur in the last eight years, but the songwriter and producer is busier than ever – Gorillaz’s latest album Cracker Island arrived in 2022; the collaborative, virtual group’s eighth studio album to date.

Blur: The Ballad of Darren

  1. The Ballad
  2. St Charles Square
  3. Barbaric
  4. Russian Strings
  5. The Everglades (For Leonard)
  6. The Narcissist
  7. Goodbye Albert
  8. Far Away Island
  9. Avalon
  10. The Heights

Further Reading

Watch Billie Eilish, Damon Albarn And De La Soul’s Posdnuos Perform ‘Feel Good Inc.’ At Coachella 2022

Spain’s Primavera Sound Announces 2023 Lineup: Blur, Halsey, Kendrick Lamar and More

Watch Damon Albarn & Noel Gallagher Perform Together At Paul Simonon’s Birthday Party

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