After almost six years of absolutely nothing (save a converse ad), the genre-hopping, chart-topping , supergroup Gorillaz returns. In 2015, artist Jamie Hewlett teased the public by releasing newly remodeled character designs for the band’s bassist, background singer/guitarist and all-around cinnamon roll Noodle, Murdoc.
The internet ignited with rumors and speculation. This spark only grew larger when Hewlett left a simple message on his Instagram: “Yes, Gorillaz returns.”
Over the next few months, they would go on to release brand new art of each remaining member. On October 3, 2016 after posting a slew of old album art, the Gorillaz Instagram posted a photo titled “the book of Noodle.” The subsequent posts revealed what she had been doing since the release of their last major album Plastic Beach. The books of band members Russell, Murdoc, and 2D were released shortly thereafter.
While the album was going to be released in 2016, the date had to be pushed back, because according to Hewlett, it is “really ****** special” and could not be rushed. Reportedly, Gorillaz founder Damon Albarn has been meeting with French composer Jean Michel-Jarre, songwriter Liam Bailey, and rapper Vic Mensa.
Past Gorillaz collaborators will also be returning for the 2017 album, such as Snoop Dogg, who was heavily involved in Plastic Beach, and De La Soul, who has collaborated with the Gorillaz since their first album.
Gorillaz began as the brainchild of Damon Albarn, the front man of the British band Blur, and comic artist Jamie Hewlett when they became fed up with the shallow nature of the MTV culture. They expected more of musicians, so they became those musicians.
With the 2001 release of their first, self-titled album, they saw critical acclaim specifically for the song “19-2000.” This success snowballed with the triumph of “Clint Eastwood”— arguably the band’s most popular song.
While they have always been shrouded in a cloud of ambiguity and mystery, this stunt is particularly exciting because Albarn stated that the Gorillaz were done after the last album. This made the idea of a new release that much more shocking and exciting to the community.
The Gorillaz plot makes a nod to this by having band member, and self proclaimed leader, Murdoc Niccals be forced to write this new album by EMI and their military fleet.
With a six year gap from The Fall to now, this new album promises to be unique and exciting. Even now the community has been given closure to some of the open ended storylines that still lingered after The Fall.
In closing, all aboard the hype train for the new Gorillaz album.