The long-awaited return of Blur

It’s been a long-time coming – in fact, Damon Albarn himself indicated it might never come out – but it has been announced today that Blur will finally release their eighth album, The Magic Whip, on April 27.

The first track to do the rounds ‘Go Out’ can be bought now, online – and the lyric video – which appears to feature a woman making vanilla ice-cream to compliment the cover art of the album, can be streamed above.

According to NME the album tracklisting is as follows:

‘Lonesome Street’
‘New World Towers’
‘Go Out’
‘Ice Cream Man’
‘Thought I Was A Spaceman’
‘I Broadcast’
‘My Terracotta Heart’
‘There Are Too Many Of Us’
‘Ghost Ship’
‘Ong Ong’

Whilst Blur never officially split, they were inactive for much of the 2000s, after the release of their seventh album, Think Tank. That album featured guitarist Graham Coxon playing on only one track -‘Battery In Your Leg.’ Since 2009, as well as playing live the band have issued two singles ‘Fool’s Day‘ in 2010 and ‘Under The Westway‘/’The Puritan’ in 2012.

I’ve been a fan since the early nineties – and loved these tracks: ‘Fool’s Day’ made no.10 in my Festive Fifty in 2010, while both sides of the 2012 single made the list in 2012.

Excitingly, as well as the already confirmed Hyde Park show in June, there are going to be more live appearances…

Damon Albarn: solo artist – finally!

Damon Albarn sports an Intercity logo on his T-shirt

This year, as was inevitable, you can tell that there’s going to be a big fuss that it marks twenty years since the Britpop era began. True, 1994 was a spectacular year for music (up there with 1967, or 1977 and not far behind 1979), but the really telling thing will be those artists who were part of it but are looking forward rather than looking back.

And this year will see the release of Damon Albarn’s first solo album proper. Released twenty years to the week since Blur’s Parklife came out (April 28), the album is called Everyday Robots and this is the tracklisting:

1) Everyday Robots
2) Hostiles
3) Lonely Press Play
4) Mr Tembo
5) Parakeet
6) The Selfish Giant
7) You And Me
8) Hollow Ponds
9) Seven High
10) Photographs (You Are Taking Now)
11) The History Of A Cheating Heart
12) Heavy Seas Of Love

(as outlined over on God Is In The TV)

The video for the title track can be seen here:

Meanwhile, this has emerged online from a solo gig earlier in the week of him performing ‘Lonely, Press Play.’ It may be a rough video, that ends before the song does, but even that can’t disguise the sheer loveliness of this track:

This is another clip -‘Hollow Ponds’


another track has been unveiled via the NME website