Damon Albarn keeps playing coy about the prospects of more Blur material, but the British band’s frontman has let slip he’s working on a new solo album.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Albarn said the album is “sort of folk soul” and features “rhythmic” work from XL Recordings chief Richard Russell, who teamed up with Albarn on Bobby Womack’s 2012 The Bravest Man in the Universe. “Making a solo record can be such a disaster, so I thought if we’re going to make a record with my name on it, I should get someone to really produce it,” Albarn explained.
He will also reportedly be mounting a solo tour in support of the LP, playing songs from a career that spans Blur; Gorillaz; the Good, the Bad, and the Queen; and a variety of other work (including two operas). The title and release date for the record are unclear, but it’s being billed as his first solo album. That’s technically true, though Albarn did put out a limited vinyl release of solo demos, called Democrazy, in 2003, and last year’s Dr Dee opera soundtrack was credited to Albarn.
As for Blur, who he recently said onstage were recording in Hong Kong, Albarn continued the sort of vague hints he’s been making about the band’s future throughout their recent reunion. “We’ve got a couple of occasions when we’re stuck in the middle of nowhere,” he reportedly said of the band’s festival schedule this summer. “So we might make a record in a week. If we can, it would be nice.”
Note well: The interview took place before Blur’s Coachella show way back in April, so it’s entirely possible the band made that record in a week after their May 6 Hong Kong gig, after all.
If Albarn’s comments about Blur’s album plans bring to mind an old Oasis LP title — Definitely Maybe — well, he reiterates that he has buried the hatchet with his group’s one-time Britpop rivals. “All of the animosity of the ’90s is gone,” he told RS. No comment yet from Portlandia.