“Yes. Gorillaz returns.”
That’s what Gorillaz co-founder Jamie Hewlett replied to a fan’s question on Instagram. The reply, coupled with new artwork of Murdoc and Noodle, gave fans hope that Gorillaz is ready to release a new album in the near future.
According to the Verge, there hasn’t been an official announcement, but it is expected that the band and co-creator Damon Albarn will release a new album this year. In the meantime, they released two teasers on Instagram.
Damon Albarn has put fans on edge with mixed messages on Gorillaz’s future. The Guardian reported in 2012 that Albarn said future songs from the fictional animated band were “unlikely.”
He explained that Jamie Hewlett was ready to call it quits.
“I think we were at cross purposes somewhat on that last record, which is a shame. So until a time comes when that knot has been untied…”
He went on to admit that the two had a bit of a falling out over Hewlett’s visuals receiving less attention than he’d hoped. Still, he stands by the group’s last album, The Fall, released in 2011.
“The music and the videos weren’t working as well together, but I felt we’d made a really good record, and I was into it. So we went and played it.”
According to the Verge, problems between the two creators actually started during the production of their 2009 album Plastic Beach.
The two appear to have worked out their conflicts, and Hewlett seems to be confirming that the Gorillaz are returning, and maybe sooner than expected.
Gorillaz still stand out in the musical world as a completely fictional animated band. None of the four characters — 2D (lead vocals, keyboard, and melodica), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar), Noodle (guitar, keyboard, and backing vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion) — represent a real-life counterpart.
Rather, the songs are a collaboration between different musicians from different genres, with Albarn being the only consistent contributor.
Despite the animated facade, the songs still have emotional meaning for the creators, as Albarn explained to Pitchfork.
“Actually, a lot of Gorillaz songs were very personal. I mean, that’s why it was interesting, because it wasn’t music being made for a cartoon. It was something different. It was a much more emotional affair. I wasn’t necessarily thinking in the third-person then.”
It’s still unclear exactly when Gorillaz will return.
[Image Credit: Hewell/Instagram]