Damon Albarn on new “carnival-themed” Gorillaz music and talk of a Blur reunion

Gorillaz are "going back to the spirit of their first record" while Blur "have an idea" of how to return

Damon Albarn has spoken to NME about how he’s not only been at work on new “carnival-themed” Gorillaz music, but has also been discussing “an idea” to reunite Blur once again.

The frontman was talking to NME about the launch of his upcoming second solo album ‘The Nearer The Fountain, The More Pure The Stream Flows’, when revealed that he’d been quite busy on other projects since completing work on the record back in February.

“Since then I’ve been working on carnival-themed music with Gorillaz with a lot of people from west London,” said Albarn. “We’re really going back to the spirit of the first record [their self-titled 2001 album].”

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He continued: “It’s really exciting and we’ve been really enjoying it. It’s a nice kind of counter-balance to ‘The Nearer The Fountain…’, really. I’ve definitely needed a dose of something else after I finished that record. Steel pan drums and Casio MT-40s were always going to be a good cure.”

This comes after last year saw the release of Gorillaz’ seventh album ‘Song Machine: Season One – Strange Timez’, before Albarn hinted a sequel to their 2010 third album ‘Plastic Beach‘.

Damon Albarn returns with new solo album 'The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows'. Credit: Linda Brownlee
Damon Albarn returns with new solo album ‘The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows’. Credit: Linda Brownlee

Elsewhere in his interview with NME, we also quizzed him about Blur drummer Dave Rowntree’s recent comments about his hopes for a post-pandemic reunion of the Britpop icons.

“Well, we did have a chat recently, but we haven’t really progressed further than that,” Albarn replied. “We did have an idea though; I’ve just been a bit busy at the moment obviously. When it happens, I’ll be made up.”

Albarn added: “When it’s wanted, I’ll do it. I don’t want to foist that stuff on anybody unnecessarily.”

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Blur last played live together in March 2019 during frontman Damon Albarn’s ‘Africa Express: The Circus’ gig in Leytonstone, London, where they performed ‘Clover Over Dover’, ‘Tender’ and ‘Song 2’. That surprise gig followed four years on from their last full tour, which included a huge outdoor show at London’s Hyde Park

Read our full interview with Albarn here, where he also discusses the inspiration behind his new solo album, thoughts on Boris Johnson’s government, and other plans for the future.

Albarn releases ‘The Nearer The Fountain, The More Pure The Stream Flows’ on November 12 via Transgressive Records, before a run of solo tour dates in early 2022. Gorillaz will headline The O2 in London on Wednesday August 11, with appearances set for Boardmasters 2021 and Primavera Sound 2022.

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