The virtual pop band Gorillaz is back, and the group has released its first song in six years on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration. “Hallelujah Money” is an eerily soulful anti-Trump tune about business, power, and humanity.
“Hallelujah Money” features the vocals of Mercury Prize-winning British artist Benjamin Clementine.
The Gorillaz’s much-anticipated fifth album is due out later this year, according to the Sun. However, Gorillaz’s comeback song was definitely strategically released on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Upon releasing the song, Murdoch wrote, “In these dark times, we all need someone to look up to. Me. That’s why I’m giving you this new Gorillaz song, a lightning bolt of truth in a black night.”
In the video, Benjamin Clementine performs in the front of a gold elevator (a la Trump Tower), exploring themes of power and big business.
Dark times – u need someone to look up to. Me. Here's a lightning bolt of truth in a black night. Now piss on! New stuff won't write itself. https://t.co/tOqYnXqrU2
— gorillaz (@gorillaz) January 19, 2017
Halfway through the anti-Trump song, “Hallelujah Money” thins as Clementine speaks a spoken-word breakdown over a simple beat as Damon Albarn’s mechanized voice is heard in the background.
“It is love that is the root of all evil.”
Clementine reads from a book, exciting the corrupt nature of worshipping money, power, and even mentions building walls.
“When the morning comes, we are still human.”
The video closes with a clip of SpongeBob SquarePants freaking out, crying, and running away. The virtual band is not featured in the music video, although their shadows are visible in the background at some point. The band even snuck in a short clip of Clint Eastwood for those fans who would catch on.
The virtual band Gorillaz was formed in 1998 by the frontman of the Blur, acclaimed solo artist Damon Albarn, and graphic artist Jamie Hewlett.
The band features four fictional members, with Hewlett creating the visuals for their videos. The band members are Murdoch, on bass guitar and drum machine; Russel Hobbs, on drums and percussion; and Noodle, on guitars, keys, and vocals.
One of their most recognizable songs is their debut single, “Clint Eastwood,” off of their 2001 self-titled debut album. “Clint Eastwood” sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.
Their next project, 2005’s Demon Days, did even better, and the song “Feel Good Inc.” became a Grammy Award-winning hit.
To this date, the band has released four albums; Plastic Bleach released in 2010 and The Fall in 2011, were their last two LPs.
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Gorillaz performances are very rare. Albarn is in the midst of reforming Blur and has various solo commitments as an artist. The virtual band has only toured three times.
Their first tour in 2001 featured the band playing behind a giant projector screen that projected the visual effects and images.
After Gorillaz’s “Demon Days Live Tour” in 2005 and 2006, the band took a hiatus from live shows.
In 2010, Gorillaz returned to perform live at Coachella and Glastonbury.
Damon Albarn sat down with Rolling Stone in 2015 and got fans excited by saying he was working on a new Gorillaz record.
“So far, it’s really fast, and it’s got quite a lot of energy. I’ve been stuck on piano, somewhere off Broadway, for years now. I want to go somewhere completely opposite of that.”
[Featured Image by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images]