The new album from Blur, titled The Magic Whip, started life in Hong Kong when the band had an unexpected break in touring in May 2013. It is released by Parlophone Records on 28 April 2015 - 16 years since 13, the band's last record as a four-piece. The recordings for the band's eighth studio album began in Spring 2013 at Avon Studios in Kowloon. Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree spent 5 days jamming together and carried on with their live dates while the recordings were put aside and the group finished touring and returned to their respective lives.
Dave resumed his day job as a lawyer and Alex returned home to his farm in Oxfordshire from where he writes a regular farming column in The Telegraph and hosts the annual food and music festival The Big Feastival with Jamie Oliver. Graham, who has released eight critically acclaimed solo albums to date, continued to work on his own material and, in 2014, Damon released his Mercury-nominated debut solo album ‘Everyday Robots'.Then, in November last year, Graham revisited the tracks and, drafting in Blur's early producer Stephen Street (Leisure, Modern Life is Rubbish, Parklife, The Great Escape, Blur), he worked with the band on the material. Damon then added lyrics and the 12 tracks on The Magic Whip is the result.