The virtual mixed-genre hit band Gorillaz updated their Instagram account last week to build hype for their new album, which has recently pushed to next year from its original release date in 2016.
The new album will be the band’s fifth release. According to the co-founder Jamie Hewlett, the record will be “special, really f*cking special.”
Gorillaz was founded in 1998 by Hewlett and musician Damon Albarn, who were inspired by the non-sequential and often nonsensical music videos on MTV at the time. Hewlett had previously been the illustrator for the comic “Tank Girl” and his grimy punk/psychedelic style followed in the visuals of the band characters.
The story of Gorillaz follows the animated band members, composed of the blue-haired, eyeless vocalist/keyboardist 2D, reckless bassist Murdoc, hip-hop drummer Russel and the enigmatic Japanese adolescent guitarist Noodle. All the characters are designed by Hewlett and voiced by either Albarn or recruited voice actors, depending on the song.
The genre of the band is a mishmash of alternative rock/punk/hip-hop/rap/electronica with the occasional romp into gospel, J-Pop or whatever random theme that happens to fit the lyrics at the time. Their first song “Clint Eastwood” was released in 2001, becoming a radio hit in Britain and the United States. Their first album, titled “Gorillaz,” was released in March of that year, containing some of their classic hits such as “19-2000,” “Rock the House” and “Tomorrow Comes Today.”
Music videos with the characters were released on MTV as well, following their forays into the grimy, post-apocalyptic world they lived in. In 2002, a DVD titled “Phase One: Celebrity Takedown” was released, containing the music videos and bonus material detailing the band’s creation and the character’s backstories.
Gorillaz went on to release three more albums, including “Demon Days” in 2005, which topped the charts and brought the band into the mainstream. “Plastic Beach” followed, with their most recent album “The Fall” released in 2011.
In 2012, Albarn and Hewlett had a falling out, halting the production of any new material and leaving the future of the band uncertain.
However, in 2014, Albarn and Hewlett had repaired their relationship and announced production for a new album in 2016. In April earlier this year, Albarn released video of him working with musicians Liam Bailey and Jean Michel Jarre.
Last week, the band’s Instagram updated, with new profile photos and clips detailing a summary of the band’s story timeline, with lyrics from older Gorillaz songs and details from their past.
Though the title or the official release date of the album has not been yet announced, the band’s fanbase is waiting in anticipation for the project that has been three years in the making. Truly, the future is coming on.
Marlese Lessing is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @marlese_lessing