After six years away, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s virtual band Gorillaz are gearing up to own 2017 with a slate of brand new material. Their last album, ‘The Fall’, was released in 2010 – a mere nine months after their third album, the sweeping concept album, ‘Plastic Beach’. Following the tinkering, the ‘band members’ Noodles, Murdoc, 2D and Russel have confirmed some details about the record – so here’s everything we know so far about the new Gorillaz album.
Are Gorillaz touring this year?
The group played the album in full at a secret show in London on March 24. The first live date for the full tour has been announced – the group will play Dreamland in Margate on June 10 as part of their own Demon Dayz festival alongside several other dates.
Demon Dayz, Margate (June 10)
Toronto, Ontario – Air Canada Centre (July 10)
Boston, MA – Blue Hills Bank Pavilion (July 12)
Philadelphia, PA – Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing (July 13)
Festival d’Été International de Québec, Québec, QC, Canada (July 15)
Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion (July 17)
Fuji Rock Festival (July 28-30)
Outside Lands, San Francisco (August 11-13)
New York, NY – The Meadows Music & Arts Festival (September 15-17)
Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre (September 18)
St. Paul, MN -Roy Wilkins Auditorium (September 20)
Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center (September 22)
Las Vegas, NV – Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival (September 24)
Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre (September 26)
Seattle, WA – KeyArena at Seattle Center (September 30)
Inglewood, CA – The Forum (October 5)
Duluth, GA – Infinite Energy Center (October 11)
Miami, FL – III Points Festival (October 13-15)
Rockhal, Luxembourg (November 1)
Stadthalle, Vienna (November 2)
Royal Arena, Copenhagen (November 4)
Spektrum, Oslo (November 5)
Hovet, Stockholm (November 6)
Samsung Hall, Zurich (November 8)
Arena, Geneva (November 9)
Zenith, Munich (November 11)
Aréna, Budapest (November 13)
O2 Arena, Prague (November 14)
Max-Schmeling-Halle, Berlin (November 17)
Mitsubishi Electric Halle, Dusseldorf (November 18)
Sporthalle, Hamburg (November 19)
Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam (November 21)
Forest National, Brussels (November 22)
Zénith, Paris (November 24)
Brighton Centre, Brighton (November 27)
The SSE Hydro, Glasgow (November 29)
Manchester Arena, Manchester (December 1)
Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham (December 2)
O2 Arena, London (December 4)
When is the new album going to be released?
The new album will be out on April 28
What’s the album called?
The new album is called ‘Humanz’
Have we seen the album artwork yet?
Yes, see the artwork below.
What songs are on the album?
The full track listing for ‘Humanz’ is:
Ascension feat. Vince Staples
Strobelite feat. Peven Everett
Saturnz Barz feat. Popcaan
Momentz feat. De La Soul
Submission feat. Danny Brown & Kelela
Charger feat. Grace Jones
Andromeda feat. D.R.A.M.
Busted and Blue
Carnival feat. Anthony Hamilton
Let Me Out feat. Mavis Staples & Pusha T
Sex Murder Party feat. Jamie Principle & Zebra Katz
She’s My Collar feat. Kali Uchis
Hallelujah Money feat. Benjamin Clementine
We Got The Power feat. Jehnny Beth
Bonus material on deluxe edition:
The Apprentice feat. Rag’n’ Bone Man, Zebra Katz & RAY BLK
Halfway To The Halfway House feat. Peven Everett
Ticker Tape feat. Carly Simon & Kali Uchis
Circle Of Friendz feat. Brandon Markell Holmes
Have we heard any songs from it yet?
Yes. The group first shared new anti-Trump track ‘Hallelujah Money’ which you can listen to below.
Here’s ‘Saturnz Barz’
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‘We Got The Power’
And here’s ‘Let Me Out’
What can we expect from the new Gorillaz album?
We’ve heard several tracks from the album, including ‘Ascension’, ‘We Got The Power’, ‘Saturnz Barz’ and ‘Andromeda’ – all of which suggest a more upbeat, hip-hop vibe throughout the album. Read our track-by-track review here.
Albarn elaborated on the “party” and “club record” feel in an interview with Canadian site Exclaim:
“I’m determined that my next record will be very upbeat, and I will try to set myself the benchmark of 125 bpm and nothing underneath that.”
Assessing Albarn’s claim that the new tracks will be at least 125 BPM (Beats Per Minute), it’ll put it on a par with ‘Demon Days’ and their last album, ‘The Fall’.
Hewlett has also been coy about how the new tracks are sounding so far, only offering the description of “great”, but he’s been more vocal on how the art for this album could look.
“It’s going to change – I can’t tell you how,” Hewlett hinted. “But of course it’s going to be different, I can’t do what I’ve already done, that’s not interesting to me. In the same way Damon changes with his music and moves forward, I do the same. It’s going to be a different look.”
In August 2016, rap trio De La Soul confirmed that they will be guesting on the album alongside fellow rapper Snoop Dogg. Both featured on last album ‘Plastic Beach’, with De La Soul also guesting on single ‘Feel Good Inc.’ back in 2005 with rapper Pos praising the work Albarn did on their latest album. “With Damon, it was easy because we love working with him. We’re about to be on the new Gorillaz album.”
Though Kaytranada may have released one of the best albums of 2016, his production expertise will not be heard on the new album – despite offering up his help. In a now-deleted tweet, the Canadian producer revealed that he was poised to collaborate with Albarn and Hewlett on the record; “I was supposed to, they hit me up one time and I didn’t hear back from them again.”
One track in particular that fans are clamouring to hear is a lost collaboration with The Horrors and Super Furry Animals man Gruff Rhys. The track, entitled ‘Leviathan’, was recorded during the ‘Plastic Beach’-era and a brief snippet was heard in the album’s accompanying documentary, but a full version is yet to be released, and its not featured on the tracklist.
In a new interview with Q Magazine, Albarn revealed that there were a few big time musicians that turned down a role on ‘Humanz’. They revealed that Morrissey, Sade and Dionne Warwick were all in conversations to feature on the record – but turned it down.
Pusha T – who features on ‘Let Me Out’ elaborated on the theme of the album to Zane Lowe on April 6. According to Pusha, Albarn contacted him in spring 2016 and told him “to conceptualise the album, you know, like the album’s a party for the end of the world, like if Trump were to win.”
Pusha added: “I mean, I didn’t even want to think about it, but that did give me a very colourful backdrop into just being like, say anything and attack all issues that I wanted to attack and attack in the song. So when [Trump’s election win] really happened, I was like, ‘Wait a minute.’ And then I started wondering like, what type of crystal ball did this guy have? Like why are you even asking me to even think along these lines? And he really did, man. He was first. I don’t think that he thought he was going to win, I’m not gonna go that far, but he definitely conceptualised this whole thing.”