Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Fool's Day

Right-wing media conspiracy spreads rumours of new Blur record

Photo via MyspaceMyspaceAnd as the internet inexorably slows for the holiday season, we have this. Over in the UK, the generally dubious tabloid The Sun cites an anonymous source as saying that Blur are headed back into the studio in the new year to hash out some new material and, if all goes well, release a new record in 2011, their first since 2003’s Think Tank and since 1999 with guitarist Graham Coxon.

While the credibility of the source – of both The Sun and their tipster – is suspect, it does make some sense. Following their triumphant 2009 reunion, the quartet opted to not immediately carry it forward and instead announced the reunion over, though ironically it was Coxon – who left the band in the first place – who kept pushing the idea that there could be more to come. In any case, Damon Albarn went back to wearing his Gorillaz suit, Coxon released his seventh solo record and Dave Rowntree and Alex James went back to doing whatever they were doing, making it look like the unfinished business had been attended to.

But then came their “Fool’s Day” single, released in April for Record Store Day, which proved that a) they weren’t in face done with Blur and b) Blur were still writing good tunes. It wasn’t a song for the ages, certainly more subdued than many had hoped, but I thought it was an honest representation of where Blur was at in their 40s and still boasted a terrific Graham solo – certainly I’d be happy if they put out more of this. So with Gorillaz heading to the back burner and enough time elapsed since the reunion celebrating their past glories, 2011 sounds like a pretty good time to move Blur into the future. Let’s hope that this rumour has more legs than the one last Spring, hinting that they’d be crossing the Atlantic for some North American dates.

MP3: Blur – “Fool’s Day”

Much more certain is the new record from ElbowBBC6 talks to frontman Guy Garvey about the new album, which will be entitled Build A Rocket, Boys and be out March 7 in the UK. Fingers crossed for a simultaneous North American release and touring.

Even though Florence & The Machine really broke out in 2009 and by rights should have gone back into the studio to work on a new record this year, Florence Welch still made her procrastination productive enough for Spin to name her their artist of the year and run a feature piece on her.

British Sea Power previews their new record Valhalla Dancehall acoustic-style with a video session for The Fly. The record is out January 11 and the band ruminate over their back catalog for Spinner.

PJ Harvey has released a video from her new record Let England Shake, due out February 15. Was only a passing PJ Harvey fan in the past but what I’m hearing from the new record is really doing it for me.

Video: PJ Harvey – “The Last Living Rose”

Even though they already had a perfectly good clip for the song, The Joy Formidable have made a new video for “Austere” – one that presumably has the version of the song that will appear on The Big Roar when it comes out on January 24 in the UK and March 15 in North America. Glad to hear that while the arrangement is a bit different, there’s not any excessive major label gloss on it.

Video: The Joy Formidable – “Austere”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Austere” (original)

The dears at Lucky Soul are giving away their cover of Mud’s “Lonely This Christmas” in all its uncompressed WAV glory over at Soundcloud. Or, if you’ll take something compressed in exchange for manageability, grab the MP3 below.

MP3: Lucky Soul – “Lonely This Christmas”

NPR has complete audio and selected video from yesterday’s hometown holiday throwdown from Glasgow by Belle & Sebastian available to stream.

By : Frank Yang at 8:32 am
Category: General

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  1. Clementine says:

    I hope “Blur” ease into a new creative period, too. There’s nothing “timecapsule-esque” about their music, nor do they seem to suffer from the usual hang-ups that bands who’ve experienced extraordinary success as kids, often do: An obsession with keeping a “purity of style” from one era or creating songs only appealing to one life period or age group (“Blur” were never just a pretty boy band for the kiddies and party people; they always seemed thoughtful and clever, nomatter what–the kind of boys who would hang around the old war veteran down at the pub and listen to his tales, able to have discussions with scientists at local fairs), which makes them interesting and always most committed to The Present, even while keeping a fondess and respect for their past. They just keep moving forward, with a refreshing kind of energy, self reflection and hopefulness.

    As a result, they always seem relevant, immune to passing fads and trends. I hope they do create more music. Whatever their result, I’m sure it will be interesting. Their music always has been.

  2. Frank Yang says:

    yeah, I suspect that a new Blur record would be very honest to who they are now instead of trying to recapture past eras. Damon has established his artistic integrity bona fides pretty well and we’ve already seen what happens when Graham gets bored. I think a new record would certainly disappoint some looking for more “woo-hoo” but wouldn’t diminish their legacy at all.

  3. Thursday News Roundup says:

    […] Rumors of new Blur record: Multiple UK sources are reporting that Blur is headed back to the studio to record a new album to hopefully be released in 2011. We’ve heard these rumors before, but does this one stand up?  (via Chromewaves) […]