Release Brand New Track
St. Charles Square
BRAND NEW ALBUM
The Ballad of Darren
Out July 21
ONE WEEK UNTIL BLUR TAKE WEMBLEY STADIUM
With support from Sleaford Mods, Self Esteem, Jockstrap, Paul Weller and The Selecter
With just over a week to go until blur take the stage for two unmissable shows at Wembley Stadium, the band today dropped ‘St. Charles Square’, the latest track to be released from their highly-anticipated brand new album The Ballad of Darren, out 21st July on Parlophone.
“I fucked up, I’m not the first to do it.” – St. Charles Square
The opening line of ‘St. Charles Square’ is already firmly established as a crowd favourite, with audiences enthusiastically roaring along with Damon Albarn as the band blaze their new songs across Europe this summer. The song’s chorus recalls the discordant art-pop swagger of earlier work and sees Albarn queasily exclaim “cause there’s something down here, and it’s living under the floorboards” encircled by backing vocals that compound the sense of encroaching peril and a quintessentially marauding guitar turn from Graham Coxon.
Eight years since their chart-topping album The Magic Whip (2015), blur made a surprise return 6 weeks ago with the release of ‘The Narcissist’, racking up over 10m global streams – and counting – with a song which The Guardian (4/5 stars) describes as sounding like “…Blur have never been away”. Blur were most definitely back the moment Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree burst onto the stage for an electric live return at their first warm-up and first-ever show at Colchester Arts Centre in Essex on 19th May. With further shows in Eastbourne, Wolverhampton and Newcastle and now on the road in Europe, blur will have already performed their iconic and much-loved songs – along with new tracks ‘The Narcissist’ and ‘St. Charles Square’ – to more than 2 million ecstatic fans across Europe by the time they take stage for their first-ever Wembley Stadium shows in London in just over a week.
The band will welcome old friend and special guest Phil Daniels for a very special guest appearance on both nights at Wembley Stadium, with Sleaford Mods joining the line-up for the sold-out Saturday 8th July along with critically acclaimed English singer-songwriter and Mercury Prize nominee Self Esteem and London-based electro-pop duo Jockstrap. Sunday 9th July will see Paul Weller and The Selecter open for blur, with DJs Steve Davis and John Doran & Kavus Torabi also set to entertain the crowds at what promises to be two unmissable summer nights in the capital.
The band’s headline show on Saturday 8th July at Wembley Stadium sold out in minutes, with a second and final show added for Sunday 9th July. Last remaining tickets available via Ticketmaster.
About The Ballad of Darren
blur will release their first album in 8 years, titled The Ballad of Darren and comprising 10 new tracks, on 21st July on Parlophone. Produced by James Ford and recorded at Studio 13, London and Devon, The Ballad of Darren is the band’s ninth studio album, their first since the chart-topping The Magic Whip in 2015, with artwork featuring an image by British photographer Martin Parr.
The Ballad of Darren track listing is: The Ballad, St Charles Square, Barbaric, Russian Strings, The Everglades (For Leonard), The Narcissist, Goodbye Albert, Far Away Island, Avalon and The Heights.
The Ballad of Darren will be available as a Digital Download & Stream (10 tracks as above); Standard CD (10 tracks) and Deluxe CD (12 tracks, w. expanded packaging), Standard Vinyl LP – 12” heavyweight black vinyl; and – exclusive to blur.co.uk – Deluxe Vinyl pressed on 12″ clear vinyl with black swirls, in a gatefold sleeve, with poster, bonus 7” vinyl, album CD (12 tracks) and integrated booklet, including exclusive handwritten notes, sketches and lyrics; and Cassette (10 tracks).
Since announcing their arrival with debut album Leisure in 1991, blur went on to revolutionise the sound of English popular music with six successive UK #1 albums Parklife (1994), The Great Escape (1995), Blur (1997), 13 (1999), Think Tank (2003) and The Magic Whip (2015) and a string of Top 10 singles, including two No 1s with Country House and Beetlebum, helping to propel the band to mass popularity at home and abroad. One of the biggest British bands of the last three decades, blur have released eight studio albums and collected ten NME Awards, six Q Awards, five BRIT Awards and an Ivor Novello Award, and played live to thousands of devoted fans across the globe. The band’s new studio album titled The Ballad of Darren will be released on 21st July 2023.
* Colchester is the hometown of blur bandmembers Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon and drummer Dave Rowntree, with Damon and Graham first meeting as teenagers at Stanway School. Graham later introduced Dave to both Damon and bassist Alex James. The band’s debut album ‘Leisure’ was released in 1991.
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