Albarn’s reveal comes as a slight surprise, as Gorillaz had previously indicated they would issue new material within the year.
Studio footage of Albarn of Hewlett leaked earlier this year, and Snoop Dogg and De La Soul have been confirmed as contributors. However, Albarn’s reveal makes it increasingly likely their new LP, their fifth overall and first since 2011’s The Fall, will be released in 2017.
Gorillaz’ recent social media activity provides further indication that new material will come shortly.
Earlier today, Gorillaz shared a new digital story via Instagram, “The Book of Russel”. The virtual band previously shared a multimedia career timeline, along with another digital story, “The Book of Noodle”.
“The Book of Russell” traces drummer Russell Hobbs journey following Plastic Beach and The Fall.
The visual story is, not surprisingly, surrealistic and convoluted. Russel swims to Plastic Beach, growing 60 times his size on the way. He’s attacked by pirates, and is separated, along with Noodle, from Murdoc Nicals. Later, he’s taken captive in Pyongyang, as North Korean citizens mistakenly believed him to be “Pulgasari, the legendary North Korean Godzilla.”
“The Glorious Leader” eventually realizes Russel is a normal man, and sends him home to London, where he sleeps Gorillaz live-guitarist Jeff Wooton’s futon. While at Wooten’s, Russel is informed by Murdoc that the band is getting back together. Watch the “The Book of Russell” below.
⚡️ “The Book of Russel”https://t.co/PR43IAJfgF
— gorillaz (@gorillaz) October 7, 2016