The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Blur Announces First New Album In 16 Years With Original Line-up

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 19, 2015 6:35PM

Photo by Linda Brownlee

Blur made the surprise announcement this morning that they're releasing their first new album since 2003's Think Tank, and their first with the full involvement of founding guitarist Graham Coxon since 1999's 13 next month. The Magic Whip will be released on April 28, a true surprise since the last we heard, sessions for any new material had reportedly halted in 2013. Singer Damon Albarn told NME last year that while over a dozen songs had been recorded, he hadn't written lyrics for them and was doubtful that he would. It looks like inspiration struck, eh?

Blur followed news of the new album with the announcement of a summer concert in London's Hyde Park on June 20. This of course leads this writer to wonder if that means any other summer dates are in the works for the band, especially on the festival circuit. That would depend on how long the band has actually known this album was nearing completion and whether plans would have been put in place early enough to secure a place on one of the few mega bills that hasn't been announced yet. Of course this would lead eyes to travel C3 Presents's way, since both of their U.S. festivals—Chicago's Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits—have timing that would work well with possible stateside appearances by the band.

Naturally this writer would prefer to see them outside a festival environment, but since it's been over a decade since he's seen the band play live he'd be happy seeing Blur in whatever environment they choose to play.

The full track list for The Magic Whip follows, and below that you can check out a video for the first sneak peek into the new material, "Go Out."

The Magic Whip
Lonesome Street
New World Towers
Go Out
Ice Cream Man
Thought I Was a Spaceman
I Broadcast
My Terracotta Heart
There are Too Many of Us
Ghost Ship
Ong Ong
Mirror Ball