After releasing a track called “Cracker Island (feat. Thundercat)” over the summer to very little fanfare, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s animated band Gorillaz have announced a new album of the same name, coming Feb. 24, 2023, on Warner Records. “New Gold (feat. Tame Impala & Bootie Brown),” our second preview of the record, is out now, although attendees at London’s All Points East Festival earlier this month have already had a chance to get familiar with it.
Gorillaz’s eighth studio album, and their first since 2020’s Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez, Cracker Island features collaborations with Stevie Nicks, Bad Bunny, Beck and Adeleye Omotayo, in addition to Thundercat, Tame Impala and the band’s longtime collaborator Bootie Brown (of The Pharcyde). Recorded in London and L.A. earlier this year, the 10-track LP is produced by Gorillaz, eight-time Grammy winner Greg Kurstin, and Remi Kabaka Jr.
A press release sets the scene in which the band’s virtual members find themselves:
Originally based at Kong Studios in West London, the group of musical misfits—Murdoc [Niccals], Noodle, Russel [Hobbs] and 2D—have relocated to Silverlake, California as they recruit new members to join ‘The Last Cult,’ in search of the one truth to fix the world. Reports from the Golden State indicate that Murdoc is in love with the lady next door. Russel is glued to the TV. Noodle is compiling a handbook of wisdom and knowledge. And 2D is busy being 2D.
Noodle says of the new album in a statement, “Cracker Island is the sound of change and the chorus of the collective.”
Russel adds, “When the reckoning comes, gotta be ready to step through the gateway. Cracker Island’s got the entry codes … ”
2D says, “The path to Cracker Island isn’t easy to find ‘cos it’s underwater.”
Murdoc concludes, “The hallowed tones of Cracker Island will soundtrack our collective ascension into the new dimension! JOIN ME!”
Human Gorillaz affiliate (read: co-creator) Albarn last made headlines when he criticized Taylor Swift’s songwriting, later apologizing to the (understandably offended) artist—who, as it happens, also announced a new album this week.
Gorillaz kicked off their 2022 world tour in South America earlier this year, taking them to Europe and Australia (their first time there in over a decade) before their homecoming show at All Points East. A North American run is set for September and October, kicking off with a Sept. 11 stop in Vancouver. You can find their full slate here.
Check out “New Gold” (and revisit “Cracker Island”) below, and find the details of Cracker Island further down.
Cracker Island Tracklist:
01. Cracker Island ft. Thundercat
02. Oil ft. Stevie Nicks
03. The Tired Influencer
05. Silent Running ft. Adeleye Omotayo
06. New Gold ft. Tame Impala & Bootie Brown
07. Baby Queen
08. Tormenta ft. Bad Bunny
09. Skinny Ape
10. Possession Island ft. Beck
Cracker Island Art: