To put it mildly, it has been quite the week for any Gorillaz fans. Most of last weekend artist Jamie Hewlett, one of the two creators behind the international music sensation The Gorillazhas been posting the kind of cryptic and odd pictures musicians typically post before the announcement of a new album. Earlier Thursday, that rumor was laid to rest when the band not only released two brand new songs, but the track list to the album entitled The Now Now. They also released a new music video as well. And – sort of the cherry on top of it all – the band just so happened to mention the dates for a European tour for the new record. The confirmation of the bands sixth full length album came today from the band’s main vocalist, Damon Albarn, during an interview with Radio X. The first track to be taken from the record, “Humility”enlisted the legendary vocalist and guitarist George Benson. The music video also features an appearance from Jack Blackplaying a guitar while the band parties in Venice Beach. 

Check out “Humility” and “Lake Zurich” below!

So! A new album, new music video and a tour already set. What else could the common Gorillaz fan possibly be excited for? How about a brand new member? That’s right, similar to the band’s Plastic Beach phase (also known as Phase 3), one of the members has taken a small leave of absence. Sort of. Bassist Murdoc Alphonce Niccals has recently been arrested on the charge of smuggling. In a recent interview with Vice, the three remaining members, 2D, Noodle and Russel, seemed less than worried about the situation. Even Damon Albarn expressed little concern or sympathy towards Murdoc’s predicament but I’m pretty sure that’s because of who they got to take Murdoc’s place. 

“We needed to get a new bass player, so we got Ace from The PowerPuff Girls. That has actually happened, The Powerpuff Girls have given permission for Ace to join Gorillaz. Not necessarily on a permanent basis, but while Murdoc is in prison, we need a replacement. I’m not really that bothered [by Murdoc in prison]. I’m quite happy we got someone from The Powerpuff Girls.” 

-Damon on Gorillaz using Ace as their temporary bassist.

That’s right, former leader of Townsville’s GanGreen Gang was specially selected to stand in for Murdoc. While the details behind said selection process and Ace’s music experience has yet to be revealed, fans already seem to be adapting to the change quite nicely. Murdoc, however, didn’t seem very bothered by this replacement or the lack of contact he’s gotten from his band mates since his incarceration, rather he’s express concern over a being known as “El Mierda“. Murdoc was insistent in his interview with Vice that this individual was responsible for framing him and getting him arrested. While Murdoc’s spotty past and overall unpleasant attitude keeps many people from believing this claim- let alone entertaining the idea with an investigation- he is currently pending trial while the band makes the preparations for the album release. 

The album is set to drop June 29th and is currently available for pre-order as a simple CD, vinyl LP or as a digital download, as well as a collector’s edition Deluxe Vinyl LP Box Set. 

Check out the tracklist for The Now Now below: 

1. Humility – feat George Benson

2. Tranz

3. Hollywood – feat Snoop Dogg + Jamie Principle

4. Kansas

5. Sorcererz

6. Idaho

7. Lake Zurich

8. Magic City

9. Fire Flies

10. One Percent

11. Souk Eye

 

 

Fallon Marie Gannon