I have a list of things which, if any were to occur, would constitute breaking news on my blog. There’s Mac DeMarco’s collaboration with Tyler the Creator, anything Beyonce, Michael Jackson coming back from the dead, and Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewllet reuniting for a Gorillaz album.
Time to check one off.
According to Revolt, Jamie Hewllet posted “Yes. Gorillaz Returns” as a reply to a fan’s comment on Instagram a few days ago. He also posted a total of 4 images showing Noodle, Murdoc, 2-D, and Russell all in Hewllet’s iconic drawing style. It’s time to get excited.
2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Demon Days, one of the most defining albums from the fictitious band–with the hit, “Feel Good Inc.,” charting at #16 in the U.S. around the time of its release. I remember when I first heard the crazy belly laughter, followed by the catchy hip hop beat and “feel good” repetition. Then Albarn’s soothing vocals and De La Soul’s crazed rapping. Best part for me has got to be the song’s gentle acoustic free fall carrying the song’s chorus:
Windmill, windmill for the land.
Turned forever hand in hand
Take it all in on your stride
It is ticking, falling down
Love forever love is free
Let’s turn forever you and me
Windmill, windmill for the land
Is everybody in?
As a kid, Demon Days, was a game changer. It meant that music didn’t have to fit neatly into any given genre. The Gorillaz is undoubtedly a fusion of influences. There’s hip-hop, alternative rock, pop, electronic elements, and so much more. It’s really an experiment. The first experiment I let take me over.
One of the greatest things about the Gorillaz is their image. Hewlett’s taste in art and fashion drew me in as a teen. There’s an heir of mystery surrounding the characters in the band. Who are they? How did they come together? What kind of world are they in? Hewlett created a very loose narrative surrounding these characters that’s been adapting over the years. For example, Noodle started out in the band as a young girl, but has grown up as the band progressed from album to album. In the music video for “El Mañana“, Noodle is presumed dead after the island she’s last seen on is shot down. In “Stylo” from Plastic Beach, their 3rd studio album, 2-D and Murdoc are seen with a robot version of Noodle. The Gorillaz are much more than great experimental pop music, it’s an entire world, something to start a fandom over.
My absolute favorite Gorillaz moment is when they performed live with Madonna at the 2006 Grammy’s. Every member of the cartoon band was on stage. It was like seeing Peter-Pan in the flesh at Disneyland as a kid. It was a magical experience. Not to mention the fact that “Feel Good Inc.” goes remarkably well with Madonna’s “Hung Up.”
Expect more on the Gorillaz as we near 2016. What’s your favorite Gorillaz moment?