Gorillaz appear to have another mystery project on the horizon. The animated band fronted by Blur’s Damon Albarn and brought to life by animator Jamie Hewlett have posted a cryptic teaser for Gorillaz present Song Machine on Tuesday (Jan. 28). The first glimpse of their latest creation was a 20-second video featuring a funky, retro 70s keyboard soundtrack titled “Song Machine Theme Tune” that plays over an image of a synth piled high with instruments, a map of the universe, a melodica, various toys and an angry clown playing a horn.
The clip ends with the Song Machine title blasting into mid-screen, with the four animated members of the group just below. The YouTube page for the project says simply, “The Machine has been switched on.” The project could be the follow-up to their 2018 album The Now Now, though a listing on Spotify refers to a “Season One” and tells fans to “follow for the next episode (snooze you lose).”
There’s also a brief spoken word bit on Spotify, “Song Machine: Machine Bitez #1” that features the members of the group chatting incoherently. On Wednesday morning (Jan. 29) the group revealed that the first episode of season one will debut at 7:30 p.m. GMT (2:30 p.m. EST) on Thursday (Jan. 30) here and will be titled “Momentary Bliss,” featuring Slowthai and Slaves.
According to a press release, 2D, Murdoc, Noodle and Russel will spit out “brand new episodes fresh from the studio, as and when they happen… Season 1 of Song Machine will see Gorillaz joined by an exciting and ever-evolving roster of as yet unannounced collaborators captured live in Kong Studios alongside the world’s most successful virtual band. The cameras are rolling 24/7, the fourth wall is broken, the kettle is on, the chaos is real, the door is open… What’s coming next? Stay tuned.”
“Hello everyone who is reading these words. I’ll keep this short because once you say things you can’t unsay them and they exist in the universe forever, like Tupperware,” read a statement from singer 2D, with drummer Russel adding, “Song Machine is a whole new way of doing what we do. Gorillaz breaking the mold ‘cos the mold got old. World is moving faster than a supercharged particle, so we’ve gotta stay ready to drop. We don’t even know who’s stepping through the studio next. Song Machine feeds on the unknown, runs on pure chaos. So whatever the hell’s coming, we’re primed and ready to produce like there’s no tomorrow. Y’know, just in case…”
Episodes of Song Machine will reportedly take place “spontaneously” throught the year, with each one accompained by another installment of Machine Bitez, described as “bitesized conversations between cartoon band members and real life collaborators.”
Watch the teasers below.