Blur Announce Comeback Album and Lead Single “The Narcissist”

It’s been eight years since alternative rock fans have heard from Blur

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The British band is gearing up to release their next record, The Ballad of Darren. The 10-track album is scheduled to arrive on July 14, 2023. The quartet, composed of Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James, and Dave Rowntree, released a preview of the long-awaited collection with “The Narcissist.” 

The mid-tempo track, soaked with electronic beats and steady percussion – finds frontman Albarn singing about a man trying to rebuild his ego. His distinctive vocals shine through, leaving listeners to believe that no time has passed since their latest project. 

Looked in the mirror | So many people standing there | I walked towards them | Into the floodlights, sings the hitmaker. Heard no echo (No echo) | There was distortion everywhere (Everywhere) | I found my ego (My ego) | I felt rebuttal standing there.

The group worked closely with producer James Ford on the forthcoming collection. Albarn describes the LP as “an aftershock record, reflection and comments on where we find ourselves now.” 

While curating the project, James noted that they all surprised each other individually, while Coxon said their emotion brought the album to new heights. 

“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,” said James, according to Rolling Stone.

“The older and madder we get, it becomes more essential that what we play is loaded with the right emotion and intention,” added Coxon, the group’s longtime guitarist. 

Drummer Rowntree told the publication they picked up where they left off. He describes the dynamic in the studio as “natural,” since they are destined to make music as a group. 

“It always feels very natural to make music together,” he said. “With every record we do, the process reveals something new, and we develop as a band. We don’t take that for granted.” 

Their ninth studio album follows Live At The BBC and their collection, The Magic Whip. The Blur is slated to embark on their first tour since 2015 to promote their new music. Their world comeback tour will include stops in Tokyo, London, England, Dublin, and more. The band will kick off tonight (May 19) in Colchester, United Kingdom. 

Blur 2023 Tour Dates:

05/19 – Colchester, UK @ Colchester Arts Centre
05/21 – Eastbourne, UK @ Eastbourne Winter Gardens
05/26 – Wolverhampton, UK @ The Halls
05/28 – Newcastle, UK @ O2 City Hall
06/01 – Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Sound
06/08 – Madrid, ES @ Primavera Sound
06/10 – Porto, PT @ Primavera Porto
06/24 – Dublin, IE @ Malahide Castle
06/27 – Amsterdam, NL @ Ziggo Dome
06/30 – Roskilde, DK @ Roskilde Festival
07/06 – Hérouville-Saint-Clair, FR @ Beauregard Festival
07/08 – London, UK @ Wembley Stadium
07/09 – London, UK @ Wembley Stadium
07/14 – Brittany, FR @ Vieilles Charrues Festival
07/22 – Lucca, IT @ Lucca Summer Festival
08/08 – Lokeren, BE @ Lokerse Feesten
08/10 – Oslo, NO @ Øya Festival
08/11 – Gothenburg, SE @ Way Out West Festival
08/13 – Helsinki, FI @ Flow Festival
08/19 – Tokyo, JP @ Summer Sonic
08/20 – Osaka, JP @ Summer Sonic
11/21 – Bogota, CO @ Movistar Arena

Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images

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