It turns out January’s “Hallelujah Money” was just small taste of more music to come.
Yesterday, the animated English music group Gorillaz gifted fans with a whopping four new songs, two music videos (plus three “art track” videos) and an album announcement. We had a hunch that Gorillaz were up to something when they started an Instagram account out of the blue and started posting more frequently back in September, but it’s nice to know that the group wasn’t just teasing us.
The music video, titled “Spirit House,” showcases a track called “Saturnz Barz” and also features small snippets of the group’s other three newly released songs, “Andromeda,” “Ascension,” and “We Got The Power” (which the group debuted on BBC Radio 1, Radio X, and Beats 1, respectively). In the video, (directed by Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett) Gorillaz members Murdoc, Russel, Noodle, and 2D enter a dark and mysterious haunted house and find themselves floating in outer space, confronting bizarre, tentacled creatures, travelling through a swirling, colourful vortex, and encountering a singing slice of pizza. And if all that isn’t enough, the video’s spoken-word interludes are also voiced by Bloodline‘s Ben Mendelsohn.
Our description really doesn’t do it justice, but you can watch both the regular and 360-degree versions of the video down below.
Gorillaz produced and performed the new tunes in collaboration with several other artists, including Popcaan for “Saturnz Barz,” D.R.A.M. for “Andromeda,” Vince Staples for “Ascension,” and Savages vocalist Jehnny Beth for “We Got The Power.”
Apart from releasing the songs, the group also revealed the entire tracklist (plus five new bonus tracks) for their fifth studio album Humanz, their first in six years, which is set to drop on April 28. In addition to Popcaan, D.R.A.M., Staples and Beth, the album features guest appearances from ’80s new wave icon Grace Jones (who’s actually name-dropped in “Ascension”), hip hop group De La Soul, gospel singer Mavis Staples, and—of course—Benjamin Clementine, who features on the politically charged “Hallelujah Money.”
We don’t know much about the album’s 14 other tracks other than their names, but based on the diverse list of featured artists and the fact that the four new tunes don’t sound anything like each other, we can assume that Gorillaz will be exploring a variety of different music styles. According to Gorillaz co-creator Damon Albarn, Humanz is generally “really fast” and has “quite a lot of energy,” but one previously leaked track, “Busted and Blue,” is “melancholy and piano lead.” Also, the fact that Gorillaz are rebranding themselves (at least temporarily) as Humanz has us thinking that the new album will be super experimental.
You can check out the art track videos for “Andromeda,” “Ascension,” and “We Got The Power” below.