Less than 6 months ago, Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree came back together at Damon’s studio in West London and discussed the possibility of recording a new blur album. Last Friday, 21st July 2023, that album, ‘The Ballad of Darren’, has been released on Parlophone.
blur was founded in Colchester, hometown of bandmembers Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon and drummer Dave Rowntree. The band debut with the album ‘Leisure’, released in 1991, then revolutionised the sound of English popular music with six successive UK #1 albums ‘Parklife’ (1994), ‘The Great Escape’ (1995), ‘Blur’ (1997), ’13’ (1999), ‘Think Tank’ (2003) and ‘The Magic Whip (2015)’, alongside multiple Top 10 singles, including two #1s with “Country House” and “Beetlebum”. blur is one of the biggest British bands of the last three decades, having released eight studio albums and collected ten NME Awards, six Q Awards, five BRIT Awards and an Ivor Novello Award, as well as having played live to thousands of devoted fans across the globe.
For the first time in 8 years, blur have released a new studio album, ‘The Ballad of Darren’, released on 21st July 2023, their ninth album, produced by James Ford, and comprised of 10 new tracks recorded at Studio 13.
Fans were surprised at its announcement on May 18th, which coincided with a small but epic show at Colchester Arts Centre with the debut of one of the album’s tracks, “The Narcissist”.
The track listing for ‘The Ballad of Darren’ is: The Ballad, St Charles Square, Barbaric, Russian Strings, The Everglades (For Leonard), The Narcissist, Goodbye Albert, Far Away Island, Avalon and The Heights.
Additionally, the album is already on its way to becoming a #1 album, being their seventh to attain such status.
Tonight, the band will be back on stage in London for something entirely different: a very special global performance of the new album, live streamed via Driift from London’s Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on Tuesday 25th July 2023 at 9pm BST. Titled ‘blur present The Ballad of Darren’, the performance will be the first and only time the band will play the complete album live from start to finish, letting fans around the world experience the new record together as part of an intimate one-off music event. Tickets and information here.