Blur are streaming their first album in 12 years online in full.
The recently reunited band release new record ‘The Magic Whip’ next week (April 27), their first full-length since 2003’s ‘Think Tank’ and their first to feature guitarist Graham Coxon throughout since 1999’s ’13’. After sharing a series of tracks from the LP, the entire record is now airing via iTunes one week in advance.
Guitarist Graham Coxon recently told NME that the new album helped him “make amends” with singer Damon Albarn.
Coxon said: “Damon and I have an increased respect for each other because of this record, and we’re not ashamed to let each other know about that increased respect. But what we also have a lot of history, and our friendship – like any friendship between two people in a band together – has had to go through a lot. It’s been put to the test, and we’ve often let each other down. This record was a way of saying, ‘Sorry for being such a pain in the arse for the last 20 years.'”
Albarn later followed this up, adding that it would be “madness” for Blur to end their relationship, claiming they were “too young and stupid” to realise how important the band was before they initially split up in 2003.
Damon Albarn recently hit out at what he calls pop music’s “selfie generation“. Speaking in the Sunday Times Culture magazine, Albarn criticised what he perceives as a lack of political engagement in modern music.
“Look at music now. Does it say anything?,” Albarn is quoted as saying. “Young artists talk about themselves, not what’s happening out there. It’s the selfie generation. They’re talking platitudes.” He added: “What are any of them saying? I don’t hear anything other than: ‘This is how I feel.’ Which is an important part of songwriting, but we’re talking in the context of the election – and they don’t have anything to do with it.”
Discussing the upcoming General Election, Albarn said his ideal government would be a “Green and Labour” coalition “with a serious move to reduce Trident and the armed forces”.
Blur will headline British Summer Time in London’s Hyde Park on June 20. They have also been announced as a headliner for this year’s Isle Of Wight festival and Benicàssim festival in Spain.
Drummer Dave Rowntree has claimed that Blur will not be headlining Glastonbury this year.