Back in July last year, Damon Albarn not only revealed that there would be a new Blur album, he also revealed that recording had been taking place in a sweltering Hong Kong.

Why is this information significant? Because the artwork above, which has been circling around all morning – first appearing secretely in tabloid The Sun, who said it was for a "massive band, more than a decade after their last full studio release" – is reported to be for new Blur album. And there's Mandarin on it. (Yes, it seems that vaporwave aesthetic has affected even Blur.) Supposedly it's called Magic Whip, and if you translate that and "Blur" into Chinese (Simplified) on Google Translate – hey presto! The same characters appear. 模糊 (Blur) 魔鞭 (Magic Whip).

In fact, here, I've linked the translation. See for yourselves! The magic of language!

Some are speculating that this means the album will be announced later on today. That might be the case. It also might not be. We'll keep our eyes peeled all the same.

Update: It's out on April 27th. They'll also play London's Hyde Park on June 20th. Here's the tracklist:

  • 1. Lonesome Street
  • 2. New World Towers
  • 3. Go Out
  • 4. Ice Cream Man
  • 5. Thought I Was A Spaceman
  • 6. I Broadcast
  • 7. My Terracotta Heart
  • 8. There Are Too Many Of Us
  • 9. Ghost Ship
  • 10. Pyongyang
  • 11. Ong Ong
  • 12. Mirrorball

Update 2: Listen to 'Go Out':