Blur release new single and announce first studio album in 12 years... plus live London gig
Go Out is the first song to be released from the Britpop giant's upcoming album The Magic Whip featuring Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree
Blur have shocked the music world (and delighted most 30-somethings desperate to relive their carefree youths) by dropping a brand new single on the internet along with news of a forthcoming album and live date in London's Hyde Park.
Moody single Go Out (see video below) is the first song to be revealed from album, The Whip Hand – the Britpop band's first studio effort since Think Tank in 2003 – and the first as a proper four piece (including full participation of Graham Coxon) in 16 years since the release of 13 in 1999.
The band also revealed that they will be playing a gig at London's Hyde Park on June 20th this year – with tickets sales starting on 27th February.
The announcement was made at a press conference in a Chinese restaurant in London hosted by Zane Lowe and streamed live on the Blur's official Facebook page to the world. Damon Albarn described the new record, which was conceived in Hong Kong during downtime after cancelled gigs, as a return to the “way we recorded when we started.
"It wasn’t a flash studio, it was pretty claustrophobic and hot. We went in and knocked about loads of ideas.”
He added: “There’s nothing pastoral about it – it’s very urban.”
Despite reforming for several gigs in the UK in recent years – including Glastonbury and Hyde Park in 2009, and a gig in Hyde Park in 2012 for the London Olympics – many music fans thought the Essex four-piece would never release another significant body of work. The band released Under The Westway/ Puritan in 2012 – but no album materialised after an initial period of excitement and speculation from Blur enthusiasts.
Formed in 1988, Blur rose to prominence thanks to the success of their early albums Leisure (1992) and Modern Life is Rubbish (1993), and solidified themselves as one of the most important players in the Britpop music scene after the release of their 1994 classic, Parklife. A healthy rivalry between Blur and Oasis helped fuel chart and tabloid success alongside critical acclaim for much of the decade as songs like Country House and The Universal powered radios across the land.
Since Think Tank (the band's 7th studio album) in 2003, for which Graham Coxon only appeared on one track of the final recording, the band have largely moved in different directions pursuing various solo projects and non-music-related activities.
But from the little we've heard of the new album and band's movements so far, it looks like there could be a lot for Blur fans to get excited about in 2015...
You can pre-order the new Blur album The Magic Whip
The track list is as follows:
New World Towers
Ice Cream Man
Thought I Was A Spaceman
My Terracotta Heart
There Are Too Many Of Us