The Merrie Land album was written when the UK was preparing to leave the European Union. Sessions for the record started in January 2017 when frontman Damon Albarn, bassist Paul Simonon Allen and guitarist/keyboard player Simon Tong spent a week in the north west England coastal town of Blackpool, where 67.5% of voters backed Brexit.
Frontman Damon Albarn told The Sun: "This album was born on the morning after the Brexit referendum. I felt dismay and disorientation that Friday."
The title track features pointedly political lyrics as Albarn writes a farewell letter to the Britain he loves.
If you're leaving please still say goodbye And if you are leaving can you leave me my silver jubilee mug My old flag My dark woods My sunrise
"I ask to be left a few things like my Silver Jubilee mug and my old flag. I leave," explained Albarn. "I go down to an undisclosed beach and I look out to sea and it all comes out... how much I love this place but also that my mother's family was originally Danish."
Uncut magazine commented to Damon Albarn that there's an overall melancholic tone on the Merrie Land album. He explained it was created by his use of the Lowrey organ:
"I have to make a decision when I make a record like this as to what instrument I'm going to play so I decided on the Lowrey," Albarn said. "I just switched it on and the first thing that came out was the organ line on Merrie Land. It has that end of pier sadness and is a little bit (sinister 1980s UK TV series) Tales of the Unexpected."
John Lennon's lead guitar work on Yoko Ono's "Walking On Thin Ice" proved to be his final creative act. It was upon their return home after completing laying down the track that Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman.