The iconic British animated group, Gorillaz, have released a new three-track EP. Entitled the Meanwhile EP, it contains ‘Déjà Vu’ with Alicaì Harley, ‘Jimmy Jimmy’ with AJ Tracey and the title track ‘Meanwhile’, featuring Jelani Blackman and Barrington Levy. This release follows Gorillaz’s blueprint of always collaborating with the best and most unique artists that the music industry has to offer.
Last year, the group, which is the brainchild of Blur frontman Damon Albarn, released their seventh album, Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez. This offering featured the likes of Robert Smith, Elton John, St. Vincent, ScHoolboy Q, Beck, Slowthai, Jpegmafia, to name but a few. Last year also saw them release the Gorillaz Almanac, a tome documenting the band’s long and illustrious 20-year history.
The virtual band was created in 1998 by Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. The band primarily consists of four animated members: 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle, and Russel Hobbs. Albarn has used Gorillaz as a conduit to depart from the characteristically Britpop style of Blur and to explore an eclectic variety of musical styles. These range from hip-hop to electronic to world music, all the while maintaining an ‘eccentrically postmodern’ approach.
The idea to create Gorillaz came about when Albarn and Hewlett were watching MTV. In 2005 Hewlett explained, “If you watch MTV for too long, it’s a bit like hell – there’s nothing of substance there. So we got this idea for a virtual band, something that would be a comment on that.”
Retrospectively, Albarn has also mirrored this sentiment, saying, “This was the beginning of the sort of boy band explosion… and it just felt so manufactured. And we were like, well let’s make a manufactured band but make it kind of interesting.”
The new EP is an exciting and colourful collection that gets us excited for the future of Gorillaz. They never disappoint.
Listen to ‘Meanwhile’, below.