The track follows the band’s two other releases, ‘The Rabbi’ and ‘The Swan’, released as part of the album’s deluxe edition. ‘Sticks And Stones’ will be released as a bonus track for the Japanese exclusive edition of ‘The Ballad Of Darren’.
Guitarist Graham Coxon provides lead vocals on the track. The song features a mid-tempo beat with a psychedelic feel. “It’s written over my face / No sleep zone / Open up my suitcase / Sticks and stones” sings Coxon during the songs chorus.
‘The Ballad Of Darren’ arrived on Friday, July 21. In a four-star review of the album, NME shared: “There’s always a sense of unfinished business with Blur; they’ve never officially split, but each time they re-emerge it’s as if we’re rekindling a long-estranged affair. Two albums in 20 years since 2003’s ‘Think Tank’ – ‘The Ballad of Darren’ and 2015’s ‘The Magic Whip’ – would suggest they feel the same.”
It continued: “On ‘The Ballad…’ the band are muted and contemplative; there are moments of sheer heartbreak in these songs. Beyond the doom, there’s something resolute and life-affirming in the way this record plays out; you sense the whole momentum of the band moving as a unit, not just pieced together in separate takes like in ‘The Magic Whip’.”
Blur recently headlined Øya 2023. In a four-star review of the festival, NME shared: “Now well into their reunion run for stellar 2023 comeback album ‘The Ballad Of Darren’, the Britpop heroes are a well-oiled machine running on boisterous festival fuel and artfully selected sideways moves.
“There’s a grit to newbie ‘St Charles Square’ that sits so perfectly alongside ‘There’s No Other Way’ and ‘Popscene’, with the band gleefully in the knowledge that they’re in the finest of fettle. Even ‘Trimm Trabb’ lands like a FIFA Soundtrack classic.”
In other news, the band’s frontman, Damon Albarn recently addressed AI, branding it “absurd”.
Albarn told The Sun: “It’s absurd. Anyone who has so much time to sing songs through a Michael Buble filter and put them on the internet is a fucking idiot. If the AIs are the future of music, we’re gonna need better drugs to get us through it.”
Blur’s bassist, Alex James recently launched his own brand of ‘Britpop’ sparkling wine.
The sparkling wine – labelled as ‘Britpop Brut by Alex James’ – is available on August 12 exclusively to Laithwaites, and is priced at £25 per bottle. It is also listed as a dry, chardonnay-based blend made in the UK.