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New Albums: Blur, Shins, French Kicks

It’s not that Damon Albarn hasn’t enjoyed being two-dimensional for a while, but the Blur singer is ready to step into the spotlight himself for a bit.

Even though he has been otherwise occupied with Gorillaz, Albarn made time to get Blur back together to record a follow up to 2003’s Think Tank. The recording process is nowhere near finished, but bassist Alex James told XFM he expects the band will get back together towards the end of the year to continue working on the album.

“We all got together before Christmas. Damon, Dave [Rowntree] and I were making the most nasty, dirty, filthy rock music I think we’ve ever made,” James said. “Foo Fighters are gonna wet their pants when they hear it.”

The Shins, meanwhile, will also end their three-year absence with the follow-up to 2002’s Chutes Too Narrow. The band was slated to release the as-yet-untitled effort this summer, but has been pushed back to October, according to Recording is being completed in singer James Mercer’s Portland, Oregon studio, and the band hopes to have the album completed by mid-May.

Meanwhile, the French Kicks just wrapped sessions for their next album, out July 18. Two Thousand was recorded in Los Angeles this spring and follows the band’s 2004 release, The Trial of the Century.

The band will unveil some of that material on a six-date mini-trek:

4/11, Baltimore, MD (Sonar)
4/12, State College, PA (Darkhorse Tavern)
4/14, Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)*
4/15, New York, NY (Irving Plaza)*
4/16, Philadelphia, PA (TLA)*
4/17, Boston, MA (Paradise)*
(* – with Ladytron)

Blur official site
The Shins official site
French Kicks official site

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