Blur and Barbie: What you should be looking forward to in new music next week

If you are looking for new music to buy next week, we have a couple of suggestions.
Jim Dyson/GettyImages

You may have heard of people going to see the new films, Barbie and Oppenheimer, on the same day on July 21st, or a few days after. There is even a name for it: Barbenheimer. There probably couldn't be two different storylines of big movies coming out at the same time. But the same happens in the music world on July 21st as well: The Barbie soundtrack and the new Blur record.

The Barbie soundtrack features a bunch of top pop stars like Sam Smith, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Dua Lipa, and more. It sounds like it will be a fun soundtrack for a fun movie in the middle of summer. Which is, ideally, exactly as it should be.

Several singles have already been released from the soundtrack, including Due Lipa's "Dance the Night," Nicki Minaj's "Barbie World," and "What Was I Made For?" by Eilish. These are mostly upbeat tunes for an upbeat film that hopefully will make you smile at the end of it. If not, you might need to seek a friend and talk about the issues (which is what you should actually do if you are feeling low).

Blur and the Barbie soundtrack: Two new records you should get

But let's say Barbie isn't your thing and that you love some English bands a lot more (I am on your side with this, if all cards were on the table). In that case, you (and I) are in luck! The excellence that is Blur releases an album every decade now, it seems. Their last record was The Magic Whip which came out in 2015. It was OK, but not their best record. But on July 21st, the band will put out The Ballad of Darren.

There are two tracks already released for your listening pleasure. One is called "The Narcissist" and it has Blur's familiar themes which are an excellent melody, great lead guitar, and Damon Albarn's unique voice and lyrics.

The other track is "St. Charles Square" whose first words will immediately grab you. This song is much more straightforward rock than "The Narcissist" but both songs are excellent in their own way. If you are a fan of Blur, and I know you are, you'll want to pre-order this record and have it on high rotation for the next several weeks.

Other music news and analysis