Gorillaz Have Struck “New Gold” With Their Recent Release


Gorillaz is set to release their new album Feb. 24, 2023. (Courtesy of Instagram)

Gorillaz have just announced a new album, “Cracker Island,” containing 10 tracks in total. The announcement was accompanied by the release of a new single, titled “New Gold,” featuring Tame Impala and Bootie Brown. The album, set to be released Feb. 24, 2023, will also feature  Stevie Nicks, Bad Bunny, Adeleye Omatayo and Beck.

Known primarily for their songs such as “Feel Good INC.” and “Dirty Harry” from the album “Demon Days” released in 2005, Gorillaz has recently garnered popularity with younger generations through the social media app, TikTok. Similarly, the Australian psychedelic music project known as Tame Impala, created by Kevin Parker, has also amassed a widespread audience on the app with the popularity of songs “The Less I Know the Better” and “Eventually,”  both from the album “Currents.”

“New Gold” is the first Gorillaz song in which Bootie Brown has been listed as a featured artist separate from the band. He provided the vocals for the track “Dirty Harry,” appeared in the music video and also joined the band on multiple tours, including “Escape to Plastic Beach World Tour” and “The Now Now Tour.” 

The opening notes made with a synthesizer almost sound like they belong in an episode of “Stranger Things”  owing to the ’80s feel. Tame Impala singer, Kevin Parker, provides the opening vocals that are characteristically dreamlike and psychedelic in quality over the beat. The song then progresses and becomes faster, at which point Bootie Brown enters with a rap, which was admittedly unexpected during the first listen.  

Though the lyrics may seem somewhat nonsensical at first, it becomes apparent that it follows a narrative progression with the rest of the Gorillaz’s discography alongside it. The band is in search of a way to access a new dimension containing “The Last Cult” and the key to this lies behind “New Gold.” The lyrics outline how to get to the “Cracker Island.” Parker sings, “But in the magic gold, there’s a pretty one. I ask her where it goes, cause I really wanna. I wonder if she knows the way underwater. And that’s the way it goes in this silly wonder.” The singer is hoping the girl knows the way to “Cracker Island” via some sort of underwater passage.

The band is in search of this island because it offers an escape from our world. In the first verse, Bootie Brown says “Polluted-filled skies, trying to think clear. I heard the bad news, while I was sheddin’ a beer. Watch out from the coast, Paul Revere. We all play a part in the devil’s cheer. Run to the hills ’cause the end is near.” The world is essentially beyond saving because we are all playing a role in the destruction of the planet and must therefore “run to the hills” because there’s no hope in salvaging what remains. In the break between choruses, Bootie Brown and Tame Impala join together to say “Are we all losing our minds? Because life got in the way. (Hey, hey, hey.) Things will be here just in time. Your replacement is here to stay.” It comes across as a sort of warning that we must save ourselves and find a new home before we change ourselves completely to become “better” versions of ourselves that conform to the mold of this decaying world. 

The meaning behind the lyrics would arguably not be obvious to a casual listener of Gorillaz. However, digging and analysis is necessary to determine what the intentions are, because to the untrained ear it just sounds like another indie song. In my opinion this is a good thing, though, because the somewhat ambiguous and multi-dimensional lyrics can appeal to a larger audience.

All in all, I think this new single perfectly combines the iconic, hazy vocals of Australian artist Tame Impala with the alternative rock/electronic hip hop sound of London band Gorillaz and American rapper Bootie Brown. I’m excited to see how Gorillaz will alter their sound to meld with starkly different artists such as Bad Bunny and Stevie Nicks in the new album. I’m also curious as to how the rest of the album will allow the search for the “Cracker Island” to progress and unfold. Whether you’re a fan of alt-rock band Gorillaz or you’re more into the soft indie vibe of Tame Impala, or you just want a new, catchy, post-summer song with a rap to get into, there’s something for everyone to like with this single.