Multimedia supergroup Gorillaz have just released Humanz, a fresh new record to enthuse yourself over. After seven long years waiting in full anticipation, we can once again indulge in the dark but upbeat music they’re notorious for. But before you get yourself into a frenzy and raid the shelves for a copy of the record—which can be streamed and downloaded digitally—here’s the scoop on the creative vision behind the album, including tracks featuring audacious and particularly surprising collabs.
As a musical appetizer ahead of their newly released album, Gorillaz first disclosed a total of six tracks listing Let me out, Hallelujah Money, Saturnz Barz, We Got The Power, Ascension and Andromeda. Garnished with, amongst others, vocals from American rapper Vince Staples and Jamaican-born singer-slash-producer Popcaan, these songs offered raw-edged reggae influences alongside smooth, upbeat hip-hop sounds to contrast the eerie undertones. As of today, however, we’re able to experience everything the album has to offer, which is a 14-track club record, accompanied by bonus material on the deluxe version, including a staggering roll call of artists ranging from Grace Jones—Grace Jones!—to Benjamin Clementine.
Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, creators of the cheeky imaginary quartet making up the Grammy Award-winning band, explain the album started out as a “dark fantasy” exploring the unpredictable nature of life, and how some highly unforeseen or uncanny event could create an effect felt at all ends of the earth. Accordingly, the album picks up influences from all over the world—recorded in places such as London, Paris, New York, Chicago and Jamaica. The title also refers to the transitioning nature of human beings into something else, be it through natural or technological forces. Despite these deep, often enigmatic underpinnings, the myriad of tracks that form a bundle of musical genres give the album a bright club feel.
Teaming up with global music brand Sonos, Gorillaz hope to push past all boundaries and once again connect people to their otherworldly realm, which has come to manifest their identity. It proves to be a match made in heaven, as both Sonos and Gorillaz regard music to be a universal language that connects people and ideas. “The best way to experience Sonos is in other people’s homes, so when the opportunity presented itself to collaborate with one of the most creative visual and musical groups in the world on an album based on the home, it was a no brainer,” explains Sonos VP Dmitri Siegel. “PLAYBASE, the newest Sonos home theatre product, was made for bringing incredible sound to your viewing (and listening) experiences.” Get acquainted with the animated spirits of 2D, Russel, Noodle and Murdoc at the upcoming Sonos x Gorillaz event taking place at De School Amsterdam, as the widely heralded band pull you into their sacred space.