In what is sure to be a surprise to many music fans, it has been announced that Britpop icons Blur are back, with Magic Whip, their first album in more than 12 years. According to the Mail the members of Blur announced Thursday that they will reunite for the album and play the headline slot at the British Summer Time concert in Hyde Park on June 20.
Blur last reunited for the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony.
The Telegraph says that a countdown appeared on Blur’s official Facebook page earlier in the day and on Thursday afternoon. “Go Out”, Blur’s first single release in two years, was launched with a lyric video in which a woman makes ice-cream. “Go Out” is the first teaser for the album Magic Whip.
According to Alice Vincent, an entertainment writer on the Telegraph, “the track marks a new direction for the band, who rose to prominence in the mid-nineties.” She says “Go Out” mixes minimalist, droning vocals over a walking bass line, and cacophonous guitars.
The quartet of Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Dave Rowntree, and Alex James announced that they planned to release a new album, The Magic Whip, on Facebook and Twitter simultaneously. Their official twitter feed announced the album will be released on April 27 and could be pre-ordered on iTunes and Amazon. Almost immediately after the release, the hashtag #themagicwhip began trending on Twitter.
Blur front man Damon Albarn said that Magic Whip was partly recorded in and was inspired by Hong Kong’s political unrest, and by a trip to North Korea. One song is titled “Pyongyang.”
Amazingly, the video for Blur’s new single had almost 200,ooo views in just two hours. Most fans seem to approve of the release, and many commented on the fact that Blur released the song to coincide with the Chinese New year.
The Mirror claims that Blur’s return with Magic Whip is a surprise, but they came back with a bang. The Magic Whip will be Blur’s eighth studio album, their first in 12 years, and first in 16 years as a four-piece band.
The band’s headline appearance at the British Summer Time concert in Hyde Park will make Blur the only band ever to play Hyde Park four times. Radio 1 DJ, Zane Lowe, mentioned this during a live Chinatown press conference.
Blur was one of the biggest British bands of the 1990s, alongside rivals Oasis. The band’s last studio album, Think Tank, was released in 2003, though Damon Albarn released solo work and music through his side project, Gorillaz.
Blur’s appearance at Hyde Park is likely to lead to speculation that the legendary band will play at the legendary Glastonbury music festival the following weekend.
[Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images]