The cover of Blur’s new album, “The Magic Whip.”
– Damon went back to Hong Kong after that to redo the lyrics, as he’d been “just singing whatever” when Blur initially recorded. He’s spent a lot of time in China and has a “strong emotional connection” to the place. Albarn felt compelled to write about Hong Kong as a “quite claustrophobic island with millions and millions of people,” in addition to how he and his bandmates felt when they were there and their relationships with one another.
– There’s also a song on the album about North Korea, specifically his “impression of the place in a very veiled way.” He visited the fraught nation mere 24 hours after a protest, which he’d watched on TV before arriving. By the time he got there, Albarn said, the streets were scrubbed clean of blood.
– “It definitely sounds like the Far East,” the band boasted, but Albarn also likened The Magic Whip to the albums that came out of David Bowie’s time spent living in Berlin in the late 1970s (Low, Heroes, Lodger). “There’s nothing pastoral about it, it’s very much an open record,” Albarn added. Coxon described the album as, “Things that are obviously Blur, but things that don’t sound classically what people would think.”
– Blur will play London’s Hyde Park for the fourth time on June 20 (as part of the Hyde Park Festival), but there’s no promise of U.S. dates. “If people want us to play, then we probably will,” Albarn said.