Virtual rockers Gorillaz made a surprise return Thursday to take on President-elect Donald Trump on the eve of his inauguration, in a trippy track that attacks money and exclusion. Gorillaz — a side project, led by Damon Albarn of Blur fame, which had not released music in six years — collaborated on the track with Benjamin Clementine, the Mercury Prize-winning singer known for his rich, wide-ranging voice.
Entitled “Hallelujah Money,” the song is driven by a trip-hop beat and a maze of electronic effects as Clementine sings of a tree as a metaphor for Trump’s America.”When you go to bed / Scarecrows from the far east come to eat its tender fruits / And I thought the best way to perfect our tree / Is by building walls,” he said, in likely references to Trump’s tough stance on immigration.In a video for the song, Clementine enters a golden elevator in what resembles Trump Tower, rising above a slideshow of images from marching Ku Klux Klan members to African village dancers.The song’s chorus attacks the powerful role of money in society, and Clementine sings, “Don’t worry, my friend / If this be the end, then so shall it be.”
The video can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDUrpPvU1_4.
Gorillaz, created by Albarn with comic book artist Jamie Hewlett, consist of virtual members represented by cartoons. The group frequently brings in guest collaborators. While Albarn is the musical force behind Gorillaz, the sound is generally more experimental than Blur, flag-bearers of Britpop. In a Facebook posting, Gorillaz referred to the new song with ironic drama as a “lightning bolt of truth in a black night.”The band also indicated that it was working on a fifth album, which would be the first since 2011’s “The Fall,” which featured members of punk legends The Clash. A wide array of musicians wrote songs to attack Trump during the election, a sharp contrast to celebrities’ embrace of outgoing President Barack Obama.