Gorillaz: Your new favorite band

Cool music for cool people


Gorillaz is an experimental/alternative band made up of four highly characterized cartoons. Murdoc, 2-D, Noodle, and Russel. You know the guy from Blur? Damon Albarn? He’s the mastermind behind the music. His partner in crime, Jamie Hewlett, is the artist behind every character and music video. I’ve been in love with the band for some time now and I’m proud to say they are in my top 5 bands of all time on Spotify. Between the lure and the fire tracks, Gorillaz has it all. Now, let’s discover what Gorillaz is all about.Gorillaz: Reject False Icons (2019) - IMDb

In the Beginning

Murdoc Niccals is the sole reason, according to the lore, that Gorillaz exists. Murdoc is a 55 year old satanist with a whole lot of rage. His birthday is on 6/6/66, of course. He made a deal with the devil to become a rockstar and received his bass guitar; he became a brand new man (or zombie…no one really knows). Next was 2D. 2D is the frontman for Gorillaz, which Murdoc is not so happy about, and he’s got quite the personality. Murdoc punched 2D in the face and Murdoc was sentenced 30,000 hours of community service because of it. Ever since the punch, 2D has had 2 dents in his head, hence the nickname “2D” and his eyes have switched from completely black to white over the years. No one’s really sure why, though. Eventually came the child prodigy, Noodle. She doesn’t speak much, but she can definitely rock out on the guitar like no other. Russel is a drummer for the band; he was possessed by demons and an exorcism was executed by the Grim Reaper in order to cleanse his soul. When he and his friends died due to a drive by shooting, his supernatural abilities that he had prior to the accident allowed for him to be possessed by the souls of his dead friends. He was kidnapped by Murdoc and joined the band due to his amazing drumming skills and his adoration for the music he heard the group practicing. And with that, the band was complete.

Gorillaz (2001-2003) and Demon Days (2004-2007)

Gorillaz (album) - Wikipedia

The lore of the band was almost completely finished before their self titled was even in the process of formulation. From 1998-2000, Gorillaz was created and the world was never the same again; songs like “Clint Eastwood” and one of my personal favorites, “Tomorrow Comes Today” received astounding feedback and success, considering it was their first album. Albarn experimented with different genres he had never worked with before in Blur, and that’s what made the group stand out, other than the fact that they were an animated, fictional band. Dan “The Automator” Nakamura helped Albarn with the production and curation of the album; he was featured on “Clint Eastwood” alongside the vocals of Albarn. Gorillaz debuted at #3 on the UK charts and #14 on the US Billboard charts, proving their overwhelming success. Music videos were created for the 4 singles on the record with each animated character being presented to the world, which also received positive reactions from all over the world. The group “performed” for the first time in 2002 at the annual Brit Awards in a 3-D form, as designed by Hewlett. They were nominated for 4 Brit Awards that year, including “Best British Group” and “Best British Album”. However, they did not receive any awards that year.

Demon Days - Wikipedia

Demon Days is my most favorite Gorillaz record, and for good reason; the album expresses a slightly outlandish sound. Demon Days proved that Gorillaz is not just a lame gimmick of a band, but one that has and will continue to release hit after hit. It received major commercial success, debuting at #1 on the UK charts and #6 on the US Billboard 200. Not to mention, it has gone platinum 6 times in the UK, twice in the US, and 3 times in Australia, again, with good reason. “Feel Good Inc.” was and still is the biggest hit of the band’s entire discography, reaching the top of the Billboard charts in the US for 8 weeks in a row, and songs like “Dirty Harry,” “O Green World,””White Light,”,and a storytelling track named “Fire Coming out of the Monkey’s Head” are my personal favorites off of the record. Overall, Demon Days was described by Albarn as a “concept album.”Although it discusses a fictional story about the “happy folk” and the invasion of their home in the dark of night, the record is stated by Albarn to represent the world existing in a state of night and darkness. It’s different from every single album they have ever produced, and I could not be more thankful that this album exists. The animated characters performed tracks from Demon Days at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards and at the 48th annual Grammy Awards. Needless to say, they won a Grammy.

Plastic Beach, The Fall , and the Hiatus (2008-2013)

Plastic Beach - Wikipedia

After a slight 4 year break, Gorillaz was back with a brand new album: Plastic Beach. The album was inspired by the influx of pollution on beaches and marine life. Albarn created the entire record on his own, and his passion for the topic and the story was expressed through each track. There was yet another genre switch on the album, to a more electronic-pop sound. I mean, how pop could it really be; Snoop Dogg was featured on the record. Albarn said Gorillaz was more than the 4 animated characters they started with. Due to the amount of collaborations on songs, Gorillaz had turned into a moreThe Fall (Gorillaz album) - Wikipedia than just an animated band. So many masterminds were behind the creation of Plastic Beach, despite Albarn producing it completely by himself. The album reached #2 on both the UK charts and the US Billboard 200, a pretty outstanding achievement after the raging success of Demon Days. The Fall was then created via IPad recordings, as wild as it may sound. However, after The Fall, Hewlett and Albarn had a falling out, and the hiatus of the band begun.

Humanz and The Now Now (2017-2019)

Humanz - Wikipedia

Nearly 7 years later, the band returned from creation hiatus. Gorillaz fans from all over the world had assumed the band was never getting back together, so when Humanz dropped, it was a complete surprise. The characters were all grown up. Well, at least Noodle was all grown up. The rest are literally demons, or, in Murdoc’s case, a possible zombie. Albarn described the record as “a party for the end of the world” which is pretty accurate if you ask me. Songs like “She’s My Collar” featuring popular artist Kali Uchis, “Strobelite” and “Ascension” featuring Vince Staples are some of my absolute favorite Gorillaz tracks of all time. The album received success, given their long-awaited return. The virtual band went on a tour for Humanz, and fans were satisfied.

The Now Now - Wikipedia

The Now Now was written and recorded while Albarn was on the Humanz tour. Albarn’s love for music really showed in through his dedication to creating new music, especially considering each album’s commercial success. Albarn worked with a producer for popular bands some of you probably know like Florence and the Machine and Arctic Monkeys. The Now Now’s storyline even featured a character from The Powerpuff Girls who was filling in for Murdoc while he was imprisoned. The Now Now also came with a tour, similar to the other albums.


Gorillaz Present: Song Machine Live! | Fever

Now, Gorillaz are currently working on a new project called Song Machine and I couldn’t be happier. The album is coming alongside an animated series, which is pretty unique. Overall, Gorillaz does things that other performers couldn’t even dream of doing, and they do it well.