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MUSIC

New Gorillaz album ‘Cracker Island’ features Bad Bunny, Stevie Nicks, and more

The virtual band’s newest album features a number of stars on its guest list

Update:
The virtual band’s newest album features a number of stars on its guest list
Foto: Facebook/Gorillaz

Gorillaz is back with a new album promising catchy lyrics and dreamy soundscapes, not to mention a number of features with many A-list stars, from Stevie Nicks, Tame Impala, and Beck to Bad Bunny.

The album was released on Friday, February 24 to much acclaim and is set to be one of the band’s best albums in their discography so far.

Los Angeles’ influence on Gorillaz

Speaking to The Fader, Damon Albarn, vocalist and co-creator of Gorillaz with Jamie Hewlett, describes ‘Cracker Island’ as the band’s reaction to relocation to Los Angeles.

“Once I started [Cracker Island], I was like, ‘I’m doing this in L.A. and it’s going to sound like this,’” Albarn says.

“This is the beauty of Gorillaz: We can make it up as we go along, and we do. So it was… ‘How do I feel about L.A.? How do I feel about the world at the moment? And how can I somehow put that through my own emotional cipher?’”

“[Los Angeles] fascinates me, and I do find it a very inspiring place. That’s how I chose to approach making the record.”

The resulting album features many Californian artists, like Stevie Nicks, whose vocals feature on the track ‘Oil’, Thundercat who’s on the lead single ‘Cracker Island’, and Bootie Brown from The Pharcyde, an L.A. based alternative hip hop group.

The Latin influence

Despite the L.A. influence, the Gorillaz sound is still very much evident, although new elements also make an appearance. Bad Bunny and his Latin trap sound are a first for the band, and his familiar vocals can be heard on ‘Tormenta’

While originally slated to be a single for their 2020 album ‘Song Machine’, which features a guest appearance on each track, the reggaeton song instead has a welcome spot on ‘Cracker Island.’

“Bad Bunny’s the real deal,” Albarn said in an interview with The Sun. “He’s got one of those annoying voices which is exactly right every time. So accurate and so consistent, it’s amazing.”

“When I hear people like him, I think, ‘If I could sing like that, I would be the biggest artist in the world, but I can’t, so I’m not!’”

He credits his daughter for introducing him to Bad Bunny and reggaeton.

‘Cracker Island’ is now available on all major music streaming platforms.