Blur have announced their ninth studio album, titled The Ballad of Darren, due for release in July.
The Ballad of Darren would mark the iconic British band’s first new album in eight years, following the release of The Magic Whip in 2015.
The album is comprised of 10 new tracks, with the first song, The Narcissist, out now.
“This is an aftershock record, reflection and comment on where we find ourselves now,” frontman Damon Albarn said of the new record in a statement obtained by Pitchfork. Guitarist Graham Coxon added, “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.”
Bassist Alex James said in his statement, “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.”
Formed in London in 1988, the band – made up of Alex, Damon, Graham, and Dave Rowntree – went on hiatus in 2015 before announcing their reunion last year.
In support of the new album, Blur has scheduled a show on 20 May in their hometown of Colchester, Essex, at the Colchester Arts Centre. They are also scheduled to perform two Wembley Stadium shows in July and appear at this year’s Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona.
The Ballad of Darren has been set for release on 21 July via Parlophone.