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Blur announces first new album in 12 years

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Linda Brownlee

Twelve years after their last studio album (and 16 years since their last as a foursome), 2003’s critically acclaimed Think Tank, English rock band Blur will release their eighth studio album April 27. The Magic Whip was announced Thursday morning via a press conference and videostream from a Chinatown restaurant in Soho, London hosted by DJ Zane Lowe and all four members of the band—Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James, and Dave Rowntree. The location and timing of the announcement, the Chinese New Year, pay homage to the new collection being recorded in Hong Kong.

The group recorded the new collection over the course of five days during the downtime of a canceled concert in Japan and all members made clear the sound is different than “classic Blur.” Albarn—who has stayed busy over the decade with albums with Gorillaz; solo collections; his band with Danger Mouse The Good, the Bad and the Queen; and collaborations with Red Hot Chilli Peppers bassist Flea and afrobeat legend Tony Allen—described the collection as along the lines of David Bowie’s Berlin period. 

The band will support the new collection by headlining British Summertime Hyde Park in June for the fourth time—more than any other band. Co-headliners include Taylor Swift, John Legend, and Ellie Goulding. As to whether or not the band will do a full tour, they offered a “maybe.” 

The first single off the album, also dropping Thursday, is “Go Out.” 

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