Damon Albarn has compared Blur's new album to an accidental pregnancy.

The 47-year-old singer-songwriter admitted the band - which also features Graham Coxon, Dave Rowntree and Alex James - had no plans to make a new LP, so felt surprised when 'The Magic Whip' came to fruition.

He confessed: ''The story of this record can be compared to a middle-aged couple, out of the blue, receiving the news that there was going to be a new baby, after the original children had grown up.

''We had no intention of having another kid and then suddenly, almost miraculously, one appeared.''

However, Damon said it felt refreshing to work on the record - which is their first since 2003's 'Think Tank' - because he didn't have to push for it to happen as ''responsibilities were being shared''.

He continued: ''Graham is very much instrumental in this.

''In a way, it's his baby, although I suppose I am part of its miraculous conception. The reason why I'm so excited about it and happy about it is that the responsibilities were being shared for the first time in maybe 20 years and that's really important.''

And although they do not currently have plans to create another album, 46-year-old guitarist Graham said it has helped them realise how they can work together more effectively.

He told Billboard: ''It's weird that we're between 45 and 50 and we're only just realizing the potential of our relationship musically.

''This process has shown us a lot more than I ever thought it would, what we like about each other and what we both enjoy about the music that we make together ... If we had done this 20 years ago, it would have been a lot easier.''