Blur announced they will be releasing a new album, “The Magic Whip”, in April 2015.
Some 16 years after the band’s last studio effort, the four piece band find themselves gearing up to release new original material, with all of the members in place.
The members of Blur – Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree, respectively – spent 5 days jamming together in Kowloon, Hong Kong, before finishing their live tour dates, and then returning to their normal lives and careers. Rowntree went back to his law practice, and James returned home to his farm in Oxfordshire, England, and resumed writing his regular farming column in The Telegraph and hosting the annual food and music festival The Big Feastival with Jamie Oliver. Coxon, who has released eight critically acclaimed solo albums, went back to writing and recording his own material, and lastly, Albarn released a Mercury-nominated debut solo album, “Everyday Robots”, in 2014.
Then in November 2014, Coxon returned to the tracks and brought in Stephen Street, a well-known producer who had previously worked with the band, to assist in finalizing the songs. Albarn composed lyrics for the tracks, and “The Magic Whip” was born.
Looking back, it has been a long and winding road for the band. Originally, formed in 1989, Blur signed a recording contract with Food/EMI that same year. And, they would release their debut album, “Leisure” in 1991. Blur continued to expand on the English popular music lexicon on their sophomore effort, 1993’s “Modern Life Is Rubbish”. After that, the band found major success in the UK, recording and releasing five #1 albums followed. Notably, 1994’s “Parklife” and “The Great Escape” in 1995, helped to propel Blur to mass popularity at home and broad. Then, the band released a self titled album in 1997, which would be their last as a four piece band. The band’s seventh album, “Think Tank”, was recorded in 2003 without founding guitarist Coxon, as he had temporarily stepped away from his duties within the band to focus on his solo career.
Hailed as one of the most successful British bands of the last twenty years, Blur have received five BRIT Awards, and were twice nominated for the Mercury Music Award. According to their official website, Blur are the only musical artists to play Hyde Park a grand total of four times. And, the band will be returning to the historic London park for a headline show on Saturday, June 20, 2015, as part of Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park. Tickets go on general sale at 9am GMT on Friday, February 27 and start at a price of £75 (approx. 115 US$, 101€).
Lastly, “The Magic Whip” is out on April 28th, 2015, on Warner Bros. Records. It will be available as a digital download, on CD and as a 2-disc vinyl set. Check out the trackisting, and the video for the first single, “Go Out”, below.
The Magic Whip (2015) Tracklisting
01. Lonesome Street
02. New World Towers
03. Go Out
04. Ice Cream Man
05. Thought I Was a Spaceman
06. I Broadcast
07. My Terracotta Heart
08. There are Too Many of Us
09. Ghost Ship
11. Ong Ong
12. Mirror Ball