A strange advertisement in The Sun gave a wonderful announcement to alternative rock fans who can read Mandarin this morning: Blur announced, albeit cryptically, that it would be releasing a new album titled Magic Whip, it's first new album in more than a dozen years.
The advertisement featured a neon ice cream cone and neon Mandarin text as well. In English it reported that the image was the album art for a "massive band, more than a decade after their last full release." Those who could translate the neon text quickly deciphered that it read "Blur Magic Whip" (according to NME). The band's Facebook has also been a flurry of activity, with five new posts in the last hour, culminating in the confirmation that the new album would be dropping during April.
Not much else is known about the new record. Frontman Damon Albarn had hinted at a new record in the recent past, noting that the group had recorded enough music for a new album during 2014. However he's also been hinting at a new Gorillaz record in recent months so no one could really nail him down for anything.
The band ended up making the formal announcement at a Chinese restaurant in London, with Zane Lowe serving as emcee.
Blur's last release was 2003's Think Tank, but the band has been performing together again since 2009.
Here's the full track list for Magic Whip (from SPIN):
01) Lonesome Street
02) New World Towers
03) Go Out
04) Ice Cream Man
05) Thought I Was A Spaceman
06) I Broadcast
07) My Terracotta Heart
08) There Are Too Many of Us
09) Ghost Ship
11) Ong Ong
Keep your ears out for new singles in the near-distant future.