WATCH: Chinese square dancing inspires latest single from Blur comeback album

By Ryan Kilpatrick, April 10, 2015

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Square dancing, the ubiquitous phenomenon of older ladies getting together to dance in parks and squares throughout the country, has become somewhat of a hot button issue in China of late. After the national sports administration moved in to standardize dance routines, many - particularly in the foreign press corps - rallied to their defense.

READ MORE: Chinese authorities move to crackdown on old ladies dancing in public parks and squares

For many younger Chinese, however, the gangs of grannies have an embarrassment and public menace, occupying huge swathes of public space and inflicting their dreadful music on the populace.

SEE: No love for dancing grannies after Tiananmen Sq routine gets stamped out in just 3 mins

However, it appears they've found one more set of fans in the form of Britpop legends Blur. whose newly shared music video for "Lonesome Street," the latest single of their hotly anticipated comeback album The Magic Whip, features San Francisco's Phoenix Fly Line Dancing Chinese folk dance ensemble.

The album - their first since 2003's Think Tank - was inspired by their time in Hong Kong in May 2013. After reunion tour cancelations in Japan, the band found themselves with a week to kill in Hong Kong and, inspired by the city's "intense environment," started jamming and hit the studio.

Far eastern influences abound in all quarters of the The Magic Whip, the cover of which features a neon ice cream cone and the characters for "blur" and "magic whip."

The music video for "Go Out," pushed out in February, gives detailed instructions on how to make your own ice cream in Chinese while second comeback single "There Are Too Many of Us" sang to the "claustrophobic" feeling the band got in the densely populated territory with marching band tunes inspired by frontman Damon Albarn's trip to North Korea.

RELATED: Visualizing urban density: Hong Kong vs. Shanghai vs. the world

The Magic Whip, the band announced in a Chinese restaurant in London on Chinese New Year, is will be released on April 27.

[Images via Billboard]

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