- READ MORE: Blur: every album ranked in order of greatness
While appearing on the Broken Record podcast, the Blur frontman discussed the state of guitar music. Though he said he remained optimistic about the future of the genre, Albarn believed it went through a rough patch before its reinvention.
“I feel like there’s a bit more excitement about guitar music again, that can’t be a bad thing because it got so sterile. For me, the last great guitar band would have been Arctic Monkeys and I don’t really know if there’s anything as good as that since,” he said.
He continued: “But now there are bands with a huge amount of potential. It’s really dismantled itself guitar music and put itself back together again in a different form. You’ve got some fantastic new mutations of the genius of it.”
The Gorillaz creator shared his selection of emerging bands who he believes are showing promise of greatness.
“I really like the band Wu-Lu, they seem to be really cool. There’s one I picked up on somewhere in the American countryside but I can’t remember his name, that’s narrowing it down isn’t it,” he said.
He added: “Then you’ve got bands like Yard Act who seem to be getting better and better. Obviously they are not new, but I still see them as emerging are bands like Sleaford Mods, brilliant. There’s lots of great language being used again, not this generic rock shit – I hate that, I like poets and guitars”.
This is not the first time Albarn has praised Arctic Monkeys. Back in 2018, the musician called frontman Alex Turner a “talented chap”.
“I do think he’s a very talented chap. It annoys me to say that because I don’t like paying compliments to anyone, but it has to be said,” he told Radio X.
Damon Albarn on Arctic Monkeys' new album pic.twitter.com/hOxRKdoDMz
— Damon Albarn Unofficial (@DamonUnofficial) May 31, 2018
In other news, Albarn revealed that he is currently working on an opera.
He shared that he is putting Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s 1807’s The Magic Flute Part II to music for the first time. The 1791 original was an opera in two acts to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder.
The singer also shared that there is a new Gorillaz album currently in the works with a completely different sound. “It’s not going to be as dramatic as a quantum shift, it will be a paradigm shift, it will be very different. It will be an entirely different approach to everything — to the band, to everything,” Albarn explained.
‘Blur present: The Ballad Of Darren’ will take place at London’s Eventim Apollo on July 25. It will be the first and only time the album will be performed in its entirety, from start to finish, and fans across the globe can tune in via a livestream of the show.
In a five-star review of the band’s show at Wembley Stadium, NME wrote: “This two-hour performance shows that Blur have soundtracked the audience’s lives with real emotional impact. James recently called the making of their new album an “utter joy”. It’s clear that fans would say the same about tonight.”