During an interview with NME about his upcoming solo record, The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows, Damon Albarn mentioned that Blur “have an idea” for another reunion and stated that Gorillaz are currently working on “carnival-themed music.” His new album is due on November 12 via Transgressive.
Albarn began revealing what his bands are up to while discussing what he’s been working on since finishing the recording for The Nearer The Fountain in February this year. “Since then I’ve been working on carnival-themed music with Gorillaz with a lot of people from west London,” he stated. “We’re really going back to the spirit of the first record. It’s really exciting and we’ve been really enjoying it. It’s a nice kind of counter-balance to The Nearer The Fountain, really. I’ve definitely needed a dose of something else after I finished that record. Steel pan drums and Casio MT-40s were always going to be a good cure.”
Gorillaz released their latest album Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez in 2020, so this new carnival-themed release may be Season Two. However, Albarn hasn’t confirmed anything yet. It could also be for the movie or sequel to 2010’s Plastic Beach that Albarn teased last year, or for something else entirely.
As for his first band, Blur, Albarn confirmed that they’ve been keeping in touch about another potential reunion. They got together in 2019 for a surprise live appearance at an Africa Express show, but their last serious reunion was in 2015, when they released a comeback album called The Magic Whip and played a few shows in support of it. In January, drummer Dave Rowntree had commented “Can’t wait till this bloody virus is dead and we can get back out there,” hinting that a reunion was imminent.
NME jumped on this hint, and Albarn replied, “Well, we did have a chat recently, but we haven’t really progressed further than that. We did have an idea though; I’ve just been a bit busy at the moment obviously. When it happens, I’ll be made up. When it’s wanted, I’ll do it. I don’t want to foist that stuff on anybody unnecessarily.”
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat