After teasing their latest installment of the group’s ongoing Song Machine project featuring Octavian, Gorillaz return with the full track titled “Friday 13th” accompanied by a music video centered around the theme of light at the end of a tunnel.
“Friday 13th” is preceded by an interlude titled “Song Machine: Machine Bitez #8” in which the group gets together to talk about why everyone is afraid of the number 13, the origins of Octavian’s name (from Roman mythology and the story of Romulus and Remus) and speaking ambiguously about the light at the end of a tunnel. They do let the audience know that, “It’s important to remember that everyday can be beautiful if you want it to be. It’s all about your perception, don’t you think?”
This is the fifth full-length track to be released by the group this year and comes on the heels of Damon Albarn’s duet alongside animated member 2-D for a socially distant performance of “Aries” on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Previously, Gorillaz tapped late Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen and rapper Skepta for “How Far?”. Fatoumata Diawara brought her vocals to “Désolé” alongside an appearance in the music video filmed at Lake Como in Italy. slowthai shined through a guest verse on “Momentary Bliss”.
Octavian is the focal point of the minimal synth and guitar-driven “Friday 13th,” adding a melodic verse before breaking out into a half-autotuned chorus with his voice sounding like it’s filtered through a vocoder. “I been drinkin’ and smokin’ too much, that sh*t damages/ Gimme a lot, I can do it myself, I can manage it/ Two Xans, I gotta leave, and you know how it is/ You and me, we can take on the world, we can be savages,” he raps in the opening verse before breaking out into the chorus, “And if I look into your eyes, I can realize/ I can realize.”
Late last month, Gorillaz celebrated their 20th anniversary with an extensive almanac featuring over 120 pages of both classic and new full-color illustrations. Watch the Jamie Hewlett-directed video and stream the single and interlude below. Tap into the Gorillaz Song Machine playlist on Apple Music too, as irregular updates continue to appear there.
In more music news, rising singer-songwriter Westerman released his expertly crafted debut album Your Hero Is Not Dead.