Gorillaz News: Sunday, September 13, 2020

WHEW! This week was a total whirlwind of news. But don’t worry, Gorillaz For Beginners and Lillaz have you covered.

This week:

Episode 6: Strange Timez

Strange Timez arrived on September 9th like a crash landing on the moon. The video is chock-full of cool animation; this time, the gang land on the moon, and Murdoc seeks out a 2001: Space Oddity-esque monolith with Robert Smith on it, finding himself spinning through a portal back to Kong Studios.

Additionally, Robert Smith absolutely rules as a collaborator. One of my favorite collabs yet, if I’m truthful! If you haven’t seen the episode yet, here it is:

You can also listen on Spotify, per usual! Gorillaz released the single along with a remix of Strange Timez done by Robert Smith himself. This is the first remixed Song Machine track since the project started this past January!

Lastly, Machine Bitez #13 came out with the release of Strange Timez:

Damon and Robert Smith Talk to Radio 6

Right before the song and video dropped, Damon and Robert Smith popped up on BBC Radio 6 to promote Strange Timez. Damon revealed that in addition to Robert Smith, Damon’s 9 year old niece also features in this single, playing the trumpet. You can listen to the recording of the interview here:

Song Machine: The Album

It was revealed that not only is Episode 6 called Strange Timez, but so is the upcoming album…

Yes, we’re getting a seventh studio album!!! Song Machine: Season One – Strange Timez will be released on the 23rd of October, and there’re a LOT of versions to unpack…

First off, streaming. So far 2 versions have appeared on Apple Music, the deluxe edition and the Japanese edition. The full album’s tracklist is as follows:

  1. Strange Timez (feat. Robert Smith)
  2. The Valley of The Pagans (feat. Beck)
  3. The Lost Chord (feat. Leee John)
  4. PAC-MAN (feat. ScHoolboy Q)
  5. Chalk Tablet Towers (feat. St. Vincent)
  6. The Pink Phantom (feat. Elton John & 6LACK)
  7. Aries (feat. Peter Hook & Georgia)
  8. Friday 13th (feat. Octavian)
  9. Dead Butterflies (feat. Kano & Roxani Arias)
  10. Désolé (feat. Fatoumata Diawara) [Extended Version]
  11. Momentary Bliss (feat. slowthai & Slaves)
  12. Opium (feat. EARTHGANG)
  13. Simplicity (feat. Joan As Police Woman)
  14. Severed Head (feat. GoldLink & Unknown Mortal Orchestra)
  15. With Love To An Ex (feat. Moonchild Sanelly)
  16. MLS (feat. JPEGMAFIA & CHAI)
  17. How Far? (feat. Tony Allen & Skepta)
  18. Taxi back to 80s Reykjavik

The final track is exclusive to the Japanese edition, and tracks in bold are ones we still haven’t heard yet.

The standard CD (left) will include the first 11 tracks, while the deluxe edition (right) will have the remaining 6 (7 in Japan) on a second disc. It’s also been confirmed via the store that the almanac’s CD is the standard album.

The standard LP (left) includes:

  • 1 LP with tracks 1-11

The deluxe edition (middle) adds:

  • An additional LP with tracks 12-17
  • A copy of the deluxe edition on CD
  • A download code for a digital copy
  • A hardcover art book
  • A 12″ label copy sheet
  • Three 12″ art prints

On top of everything above, the super deluxe edition (right) also contains:

  • A crankshaft music box that plays Song Machine Theme Tune
  • Eleven differently coloured 7″ records with all the standard tracks; plus their instrumentals as b-sides
  • Eleven more 12″ art prints

The standard vinyl will also be given a few colour variants for certain retailers; blue for Amazon, Yellow for HMV (in the UK), orange for selected indie record stores & a pressing made on recycled vinyl for Vinyl Me Please, which will be sent to members in November.

Cassette Mixtapes

The album will also be getting a cassette release, but not a conventional one. There’s going to be one “mixtape” for each band member, each with a different tracklist. Gorillaz have cherry picked songs from 16 of the album tracks to create 4 mixtapes with 11-12 tracks each. Check out the tracklists on the store pages for 2D’s, Noodle’s, Russel’s & Murdoc’s via these links.

New Merch

As if all of those different versions of the album weren’t enough — Gorillaz also dropped a bunch of new sticker sheets and shirts. The Murdoc shirt is a completely new design we hadn’t seen before — looks kind of like its from Scooby Doo! Could it be a keyframe from the next episode?

More Concerts

Yet another European festival date was announced for 2021: Smukfest in Denmark – August 7.

However, Gorillaz also teased an upcoming concert that seemingly anyone can attend – a livestream concert. Per Live Now:

Nothing is going to stop Gorillaz from performing Song Machine Live for you in 2020! A global live stream, with 3 performances across 3 different time zones. Coming to you live and direct from London on December 12 & 13th. Performance 1 – ASIA & AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND – 8pm JST | Performance 2 – NORTH AMERICA & SOUTH AMERICA – 4pm PST | Performance 3 – UK / EUROPE & AFRICA – 7pm BST | ANTARCTICA & anywhere else – take your pick!

So, during the 12th and 13th of December is SONG MACHINE LIVE: Season One – Strange Timez will be performed live for the first time globally via livestream on LiveNow in three time zones. It’s not quite clear how it’ll be done, or if people need to purchase tickets to this event. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for more info as it comes!

New Art

With every new episode comes a new set of artwork. Here’s everything we got to enjoy this week:

New promotional art piece
Image promoting the LiveNow livestream
The backside of the upcoming album
The latest print for sale, now sold out
The Circle of Friendz membership – giving subscribers exclusive access to ‘rilla stuff
Last but not least, the conglomeration of all guests and episodes that have made up Season 1. An absolutely epic image!

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