Blur announce new album The Ballad of Darren and new single The Narcissist

18 May 2023, 20:38 | Updated: 19 May 2023, 19:26

Blur on their new single The Narcissist

The Britpop legends' first record in eight years will be released on 21st July, with its lead single The Narcissist out now.

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Blur have announced their first new material in eight years.

The Britpop legends - comprised of Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree - have shared the details of their ninth studio album The Ballad of Darren, which is set for release on 21st July 2023.

From the record, which follow's 2015's The Magic Whip, comes new single The Narcissist, which you can listen to here:

Blur - The Narcissist (Official Visualiser)

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Speaking about the title The Narcissist, frontman Damon Albarn told Radio X's Dan O'Connell: “I think the whole nature of being in a band… especially talking about yourself, having photographs taken... that’s all about yourself.

“Obviously there are deep practitioners of narcissism in the entertainment world, but it also applies to people like Putin, you know? It’s one of those kind of troubling aspects of modern life. There’s definitely mediations on modernity in the record for sure.”

Blur in 2023
Blur have announced the details of their ninth studio album. Picture: Bastienne Lewis/Press

Of the album title, Albarn says: “Darren is many people. It is directly one person. But do we want to spoil who Darren is yet? There’s a picture of Daren in the album. Not on the front cover. It was going to be but then we put it on the inner sleeve because it’s not the sort of attention Darren will want.”

On returning with new material, Albarn referenced the band's forthcoming shows at Wembley Stadium, noting: "What’s the point of doing all of this unless there’s something that represents in some way how we all feel now?” He claimed the album's "purpose" was to reflect the band's generation, but said: "I think also it has enough of the modern world in it to kind of be relatable to people younger as well.”

Bassist Alex James added: "The fact that we’ve made a record is a surprise to me… [but] looking back it’s what we actually do.”

Pre order The Ballad of Darren here.

Blur's The Ballad of Darren album is released on 21st July 2023
Blur's The Ballad of Darren album is released on 21st July 2023. Picture: Press

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See the tracklisting for Blur's The Ballad of Darren:

1. The Ballad

2. St Charles Square

3. Barbaric

4. Russian Strings

5. The Everglades (For Leonard)

6. The Narcissist

7. Goodbye Albert

8. Far Away Island

9. Avalon

10. The Height

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