BRITPOP heroes Blur have announced the title of their ninth studio album, ‘The Ballad Of Darren’ set to release July 21st through Parlophone Records.

Lead single ‘The Narcissist’ provides the first musical release from the charmless men in eight years since ‘The Magic Whip’, aswell as a nonstop summer of festival shows across the world – including Primavera Sound, Roskilde, Malahide Castle and two headline shows at Wembley Stadium.

Scottish fans may have been surprised to see the cover image chosen for the ten-track album, which is a snap of Gourock Pool – located in Inverclyde. Taken by British photographer Martin Parr in 2004, the image depicts a lone swimmer with the river Clyde featuring as the backdrop amidst a menacing cloudy sky.

Frontman Damon Albarn comments: “This is an aftershock record, reflection and comment on where we find ourselves now,” said Albarn of the new record in a statement. Lead guitarist Graham Coxon adds, “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.”

Producer James Ford has worked with Albarn previously on the Gorillaz’s 2018 album ‘The Now Now’, where lead single ‘The Narcissist’ outlays a jangle guitar-driven track accompanied by contemplative lyrics.

Check out ‘The Narcissist’ below.