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BLUR end 8-year hiatus, new single “The Narcissist” streaming

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Remembering the days of yore, when the vibrant tunes of Blur’s self-titled album in 1997 ignited a fire within the hearts of music enthusiasts, and the mesmerizing melodies of their magnum opus, “13,” left me spellbound. Today, we find ourselves immersed once again in the ethereal realm of this iconic British band as they unveil their latest single, “The Narcissist,” which showcases Blur’s signature sound and lyrical depth.

After an eight-year hiatus, legendary British band Blur is back with a bang, set to release their highly anticipated ninth studio album, “The Ballad of Darren,” on July 21 via Parlophone. Produced by James Ford, known for his work with Gorillaz and Arctic Monkeys, among others, the album promises to be a reflection of the band’s journey and a commentary on the present.

In “The Narcissist,” Damon Albarn, the frontman of Blur, takes us on a personal introspection as he confronts his ego. The lyrics depict Albarn’s self-reflection, describing a surreal experience of looking in the mirror and seeing a Pierrot, a clown from the commedia dell’arte tradition, staring back at him. Amidst the introspection, Albarn encourages listeners to avoid darkness and instead embrace the light. The track’s upbeat chorus uplifts the mood, as Albarn declares his resilience and determination not to falter this time. “The Narcissist” is a tantalizing taste of what’s to come from Blur’s upcoming album.


Collaborating once again with producer James Ford, Blur embarked on a creative journey that spanned studios in London and Devon, U.K. The album will be available in various formats, including digital, CD, and vinyl. Fans can also look forward to a deluxe edition of the CD featuring two bonus tracks, “The Swan” and “The Rabbi,” as well as cassette and deluxe vinyl options, exclusively available on the band’s website.

When asked about the album, Damon Albarn described it as an “aftershock record,” highlighting its introspective nature and its ability to comment on the band’s current reality. Guitarist Graham Coxon emphasized the importance of infusing their music with the right emotion and intention, stating that mere riffs no longer suffice. The band members, including bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree, expressed their mutual desire to continue surprising each other and growing as a band.

To celebrate the album announcement, Blur will be performing in their hometown of Colchester, U.K., at the Colchester Arts Centre, setting the stage for a series of U.K. dates. Following their local performances, the quartet will embark on a European tour, spreading their unique sound and infectious energy to audiences across the continent.

The Ballad of Darren is out 21st July 2023. Pre-order here.

The track listing:

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 Heights

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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