Gorillaz recently started teasing something called “Song Machine,” and it wasn’t immediately clear what it even was. That’s because it’s not presented like any of the traditional ways of releasing music most people are familiar with. Press materials note that “‘Song Machine’ is the cartoon music contraption from 2D, Murdoc, Noodle, and Russel which spits out brand new episodes fresh from the studio, as and when they happen. […] In direct opposition to the usual traditional recording/single/album release cycle, the band again breaks convention in their own round the back door fashion with the spontaneous delivery of episodes throughout the year.”
That said, the band has shared their first “Song Machine” output, a new collaborative track with Slowthai and Slaves called “Momentary Bliss.” The song is the focus of “Episode One” of “Song Machine,” and the video shows Damon Albarn, Slowthai, and Slaves performing the song in a studio with the animated Gorillaz members. Musically, the song is all over the place, oscillating between hazy psychedelia and frenetic alt-rock. The track has also been released in audio form on streaming platforms.
2D says of the “Song Machine” project, “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.”
Drummer Russel also added, “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…”
Watch the first “Song Machine” episode above, and stream “Momentary Bliss” below.