Blur have just announced their first new album in eight years, The Ballad of Darren, out on 21st July via 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.

Speaking of the Damon Albarn said, “This is an aftershock record, reflection and comment on where we find ourselves now.” Graham Coxon added, “The older and madder we get, it becomes more essential that what we play is loaded with the right emotion and intention. Sometimes just a riff doesn’t do the job.”Alex James said, “For any long term relationship to last with any meaning you have to be able to surprise each other somehow and somehow we all continue to do that,” while Dave Rowntree said, “It always feels very natural to make music together. With every record we do, the process reveals something new and we develop as a band. We don’t take that for granted.”

The first single from the album, ‘The Narcissist,’ is out now. Damon Albarn sings about looking in the mirror saying, ” You were the Pierro/I was the darkroom/ I’m going to shine the light in your eyes/ You’ll probably shine it back on me”, floating over a motorik beat and rising with an anthemic chorus. Watch the intriguing visualiser here: