Just weeks after kicking off their latest Australian tour, virtual icons Gorillaz have announced their newest era, detailing their upcoming album, Cracker Island.
Set to arrive on 24th February, 2023, the new record is a little ways away, but thankfully they've unveiled a huge single to tide us over by way of New Gold. Featuring the likes of Tame Impala and Bootie Brown (who you might remember from their 2005 single, Clint Eastwood), the track is a slick piece of psychedelic pop, blended with the classic Gorillaz production style.
Cracker Island arrives as the band's first new album since 2020's Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez, and according to the band, it's on track to be a pretty special entry into their catalogue.
"Cracker Island is the sound of change and the chorus of the collective," explained guitarist Noodle. "When the reckoning comes, gotta be ready to step through the gateway. Cracker Island’s got the entry codes," added Russel Hobbs.
"The path to Cracker Island isn't easy to find ‘cos it's underwater," noted 2D, while Murdoc Niccals concluded; "The hallowed tones of Cracker Island will soundtrack our collective ascension into the new dimension! JOIN ME!"
As always though, Cracker Island is a heavily collaborative record from the group, featuring some high-profile names. Leading the charge is, of course, none other than Tame Impala, who have managed to curate a name as one of the leading Australian rock bands of the last decade. Led by Kevin Parker, Tame Impala have teamed up with The Pharcyde's Bootie Brown for the recently-released New Gold.
Elsewhere, the title track sees the group working with Thundercat, the US bass extraordinaire, while Silent Running sees the addition of Adeleye Omotayo, who rose to fame as a backing vocalist for Amy Winehouse. While Thundercat is already one of the most in-demand musicians thanks to his two-decade-plus career, so too is Omotayo considered one of the finest and most underrated vocalists of the last two decades.
Lastly, the record also sees a handful of massive icons joining the record, including chart-topping Puerto Rican rapper and singer Bad Bunny, alt-rock pioneer and musical chameleon Beck, and enduring Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks.
Though these names feel like a strong 'get' for Gorillaz, it's difficult to understate how impressive their presence is. While Bad Bunny is already one of the world's most popular non-English language acts, so too is Beck one of the most awarded and most celebrated alt-rock acts of the last three decades. This is, of course, without even noting Stevie Nicks' role as one of the world's highest-selling artists, with Fleetwood Mac itself selling more than 120 million records over their lifetime.
Individually, they're all artists who stand tall as leaders of their respective genres, but combined, onto a singular Gorillaz album, it's a testament to the sort of talent that Damon Albarn is working with.
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Cracker Island is set to arrive on 24th February, 2023 with pre-orders available now.
Gorillaz – Cracker Island
- Cracker Island (feat. Thundercat)
- Oil (feat. Stevie Nicks)
- The Tired Influencer
- Silent Running (feat. Adeleye Omotayo)
- New Gold (feat. Tame Impala & Bootie Brown)
- Baby Queen
- Tormenta (feat. Bad Bunny)
- Skinny Ape
- Possession Island (feat. Beck)