Gorillaz team up with Benjamin Clementine for their first new song in six years - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Benjamin Clementine | still from video

Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s acclaimed multimedia pop project Gorillaz has been teasing something new over the past several months. Today, that something emerged in “Hallelujah Money,” the band’s first song in six years.

While 2010’s Plastic Beach didn’t shy away from criticisms of society and consumerism, it did so in a celebratory tone — big beats, massive pop production, generating some of the highest energy jams and biggest hits the band has produced, from “On Melancholy Hill” and “Stylo” to “Rhinestone Eyes.” By comparison, the new song’s alluring textures are pensive and introverted, matched with a brooding meditation by Mercury Prize winning artist Benjamin Clementine (whose “Nemesis’ was featured in 2015 as a WXPN Gotta Hear Song). The band says it “has issued this song on the eve of the Inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump to serve as commentary on a politically-charged, historical moment.”

As Guardian Music reads it, the song is “about the worship of $$$ and the corrosive influence of big business on politics.”

…it features lyrics about building walls and the all-consuming desire for power. “Thank you my friend / For trusting me,” Clementine warns, ominously.

The whole thing is suitably unsettling throughout – a slice of futurist gospel which sees Clementine channelling his deepest Nina Simone, before Damon Albarn’s voice floats by, as melancholic as ever, to ask: “How will we know / When the morning comes / We are still humans / How will we know?”

Listen to “Hallelujah Money” below; it will be featured on the fourth Gorillaz album, which is as yet untiled and expected to come out later this year.

(h/t Guardian Music)

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