Blur took to the Internet today to play two new songs written for the 2012 London Olympics. The broadcast started with a tribute video, a recap of the band’s career, before launching into a rooftop performance of “Under the Westway,” a tense, delicate ballad with trembling piano parts by Albarn. With little room to operate, the band kept emotions high in a straightforward performance, Albarn’s triumphant vocals erupting halfway through the track with melodic bombast. The track was originally premiered live in London in February, but the acoustic debut was fully fleshed out in the live stream performance. Check out the official lyric video here:
For “The Puritan,” Blur returned to the tight rooftop setup for the peppy synth-driven track. Much more playful than the vulnerable “Under the Westway,” “The Puritan” skips along with a relentless beat and messy, loud waves of distorted chords. By the song’s outro, each member was singing along with unified “la la la”s to celebratory effect. Though the band was quite lively, the limited space harshed the fun vibe of the track a bit, limiting the band’s ability to break free and rock out.
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“Under the Westway” and “The Puritan” are both available now on iTunes, with a limited-edition 7″ to be released August 6th. Blur will play a show in Hyde Park on August 12th to coincide with the closing ceremony of the Olympics.