BLUR release new track: "St. Charles Square" ahead of Wembley Stadium shows next week

Photo Credit: Reuben Bastienne-Lewis

With just over a week to go until blur take the stage for two unmissable shows at Wembley Stadium, the band today dropped ‘St. Charles Square’, the latest track to be released from their highly-anticipated brand new album 'The Ballad of Darren', is out on 21st July on Parlophone.

“I f***d up; I’m not the first to do it.” – St. Charles Square

The opening line of ‘St. Charles Square’ is already firmly established as a crowd favourite, with audiences enthusiastically roaring along with Damon Albarn as the band blaze their new songs across Europe this summer. The song’s chorus recalls the discordant art-pop swagger of earlier work and sees Albarn queasily exclaim, “cause there’s something down here, and it’s living under the floorboards” encircled by backing vocals that compound the sense of encroaching peril and a quintessentially marauding guitar turn from Graham Coxon.

Damon Albarn said of the track - “St. Charles Square is a place where the ghosts of monsters can be found.”

Eight years since their chart-topping album 'The Magic Whip' (2015), blur made a surprise return 6 weeks ago with the release of "The Narcissist", racking up over 10m global streams - and counting. Blur was most definitely back the moment Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree burst onto the stage for an electric live return at their first warm-up and first-ever show at Colchester Arts Centre in Essex on 19th May. With further shows in Eastbourne, Wolverhampton and Newcastle and now on the road in Europe, blur will have already performed their iconic and much-loved songs - along with new tracks "The Narcissist" and "St. Charles Square" - to more than 2 million ecstatic fans across Europe by the time they take stage for their first-ever Wembley Stadium shows in London in just over a week.

The band will welcome old friend and special guest Phil Daniels for a very special guest appearance on both nights at Wembley Stadium, with Sleaford Mods joining the line-up for the sold-out Saturday 8th July along with critically acclaimed English singer-songwriter and Mercury Prize nominee Self Esteem and London-based electro-pop duo Jockstrap. Sunday 9th July will see Paul Weller and The Selecter open for blur, with DJs Steve Davis and John Doran & Kavus Torabi is also set to entertain the crowds at what promises to be two unmissable summer nights in the capital.

The band’s headline show on Saturday, 8th July, at Wembley Stadium sold out in minutes, with a second and final show added for Sunday, 9th July. Last remaining tickets are available via Ticketmaster.

About The Ballad of Darren

blur will release their first album in 8 years, titled 'The Ballad of Darren' and comprising 10 new tracks, on 21st July on Parlophone. Produced by James Ford and recorded at Studio 13, London and Devon, 'The Ballad of Darren' is the band’s ninth studio album, their first since the chart-topping 'The Magic Whip' in 2015, with artwork featuring an image by British photographer Martin Parr.

'The Ballad of Darren' track listing is: "The Ballad", "St Charles Square", "Barbaric", "Russian Strings", "The Everglades (For Leonard)", "The Narcissist", "Goodbye Albert", "Far Away Island", "Avalon" and "The Heights".

'The Ballad of Darren' will be available as a Digital Download & Stream (10 tracks as above); Standard CD (10 tracks) and Deluxe CD (12 tracks, w. expanded packaging), Standard Vinyl LP - 12” heavyweight black vinyl; and - exclusive to - Deluxe Vinyl pressed on 12" clear vinyl with black swirls, in a gatefold sleeve, with poster, bonus 7” vinyl, album CD (12 tracks) and integrated booklet, including exclusive handwritten notes, sketches and lyrics; and Cassette (10 tracks).


Since announcing their arrival with their debut album Leisure in 1991, blur went on to revolutionise the sound of English popular music with six successive UK #1 albums 'Parklife' (1994), 'The Great Escape' (1995), 'Blur' (1997), '13' (1999), 'Think Tank' (2003) and 'The Magic Whip' (2015) and a string of Top 10 singles, including two No 1s with "Country House" and "Beetlebum", helping to propel the band to mass popularity at home and abroad. One of the biggest British bands of the last three decades, blur have released eight studio albums and collected ten NME Awards, six Q Awards, five BRIT Awards and an Ivor Novello Award, and played live to thousands of devoted fans across the globe. The band’s new studio album titled 'The Ballad of Darren' will be released on 21st July 2023.

Colchester is the hometown of blur band members Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon and drummer Dave Rowntree, with Damon and Graham first meeting as teenagers at Stanway School. Graham later introduced Dave to both Damon and bassist Alex James. The band’s debut album ‘Leisure’ was released in 1991.


Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as hosting interviews for the weekly XS Noize Podcast. Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

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