Blur‘s recent reunion has borne fruit in the form of a new album. The Magic Whip will be available in the United States on April 28 via Warner Bros., the band has announced. It’s the Britpop icons’ first proper full-length since 2003′s Think Tank and their first with founding guitarist Graham Coxon on more than one song since 1999′s 13.
The Magic Whip was recorded two years ago over several days in Hong Kong during a break from touring. Frontman Damon Albarn, in an online news conference this morning from a Chinese restaurant in London, compared the process to Blur’s early days, saying, “It wasn’t a flash studio.” Coxon said they “decided to just have a play, really.” They worked with producer Stephen Street, who oversaw their influential mid-’90s run, including 1994′s Parklife and 1997′s Blur.
Blur began stirring hopes for new music when they got back together for live dates starting in 2009. The band released its first new recording since 2003, “Fool’s Day,” in 2010. Two years later, after winning a Brit Award for lifetime achievement, the group released a 21-disc box set (see Blur’s 21 Box Set: 21 Key Rarities You Need to Hear) and debuted two more new songs, “Under the Westway” and “The Puritan.” Onstage in 2013, Albarn said Blur would be recording in Hong Kong due to an unforeseen tour-date cancellation in Japan. But last year, he said they might not finish the album because of, seriously, the weather.
Albarn, Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree are also set to headline the Barclaycard British Summer Time in London’s Hyde Park on June 20. It would be their fourth Hyde Park show. Albarn indicated in the press release they’ll announce more live shows later.
Albarn released his first official solo album last year, Everyday Robots. His Africa Express project recently released a 50th-anniversary tribute to Terry Riley‘s “In C.” Albarn is premiering a musical based on Alice in Wonderland this summer, and he also has plans afoot involving his groups Gorillaz and the Good, the Bad and the Queen.
Pre-orders come with an instant download of the 13-like noise-pop chugger “Go Out,” which you can hear below. Scroll down for The Magic Whip‘s cover art and tracklist.
The Magic Whip (April 28, Warner Bros.)
1. Lonesome Street
2. New World Towers
3. Go Out
4. Ice Cream Man
5. Thought I was a Spaceman
6. I Broadcast
7. My Terracotta Heart
8. There Are Too Many of Us
9. Ghost Ship
11. Ong Ong