Two weeks after the release of their new album, 'Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez', Gorillaz drop their latest track, 'The Valley Of The Pagans'. 'Episode 8', lifted from this years collaborative creation that has thus far featured everyone from Robert Smith, Slowthai, Peter Hook and even Sir Elton John, this time around features multi-talented artist Beck.
All the classic elements of a Gorillaz song are contained within their latest single, an infectious slacker beat, a loose trippy bass line, plenty of vocal interplay and some poignant popular culture references both in the song and in the video. The lyrics are filled with irony and pointed observation as both Beck and Albarn (Or Beck and Murdoc if you'd prefer) share vocal duties.
The twenty two year old virtual band formed, or created, by Damon Albarn and animator/director Jamie Hewitt has been a project that's been switched on and off over the years but more recently has definitely been more productive, with three of the band's seven albums coming in the last 3 years and eight singles so far in 2020. Murdoc, 2-D, Noodle and Russel Hobbs it would appear are all going stronger than ever.
In the video Gorillaz are sucked backwards from their garage through a portal that takes them into a GTA world where they explore the streets of Los Santos. Noodle drives the modified '69 Chevy Camero with Hobbs in the passenger seat and a Fred Perry clad Murdoc next to a petrified looking 2-D in the back. Murdoc dials up Beck from his impressive list of contacts as he hurtles around the city. Beck pops up, via FaceTime, to provide the vocals about half way through whilst the occupants of the car continue to break the speed limit and evade the pursuing police.
Taking in the Vinewood sign, Elgin Avenue, Greenwich Parkway and eventually flipping out at the intersection of Jamestown Street, Gorillaz take us on a wild ride that ultimately washes up on Plastic Beach. It's a great video to accompany one of Gorillaz best songs of the year.
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