close icon

what are you looking for?

close icon

badges you can earn


earn editorial badges by uploading a number of stories.
  • 1
    writer
  • 10
    senior writer
  • 20
    sub - editor
  • 50
    editor
close icon

Sign Up


use your university email address to create your account.

Username already exists, please use another email address.

Please ensure all fields aren't empty









 
  • Please Select
  • Abertay University
  • Aberystwyth University
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Anglo-European College of Chiropractic
  • Arden University
  • Arts University Bournemouth
  • Ashridge Executive Education
  • Aston University
  • Bangor University
  • Bath Spa University
  • Birkbeck University of London
  • Birmingham City University
  • Bishop Grosseteste University
  • Bournemouth University
  • BPP University
  • British School of Osteopathy
  • Brunel University
  • Bucks New University
  • Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Cardiff University
  • City, University of London
  • Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Coventry University
  • Cranfield University
  • De Montfort University
  • Durham University
  • Edge Hill University
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • European School of Economics
  • Falmouth University
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Glasgow School of Art
  • Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Guildhall School of Music and Drama
  • Harper Adams University
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Heythrop College, University of London
  • Imperial College London
  • Keele University
  • King's College London
  • Kingston University
  • Lancaster University
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • Leeds College of Art
  • Leeds Trinity University
  • Liverpool Hope University
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • London Business School
  • London Metropolitan University
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • London South Bank University
  • Loughborough University
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Middlesex University
  • Newcastle University
  • Newman University, Birmingham
  • Northumbria University
  • Norwich University of the Arts
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Plymouth College of Art
  • Plymouth Marjon University
  • Plymouth University
  • Queen Margaret University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • Regent's University London
  • Robert Gordon University
  • Rose Bruford College
  • Royal Academy of Music
  • Royal Agricultural University
  • Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • Royal College of Art
  • Royal College of Music
  • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Royal Northern College of Music
  • Royal Veterinary College
  • School of Advanced Study
  • Scotland's Rural College
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • SOAS, University of London
  • Southampton Solent University
  • St George's, University of London
  • St Mary's University, Twickenham
  • Staffordshire University
  • Swansea University
  • Teesside University
  • The American International University in London
  • The London Institute of Banking & Finance
  • The Open University
  • The University of Law
  • Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
  • Ulster University
  • University College Birmingham
  • University College London
  • University College of Estate Management
  • University for the Creative Arts
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Bath
  • University of Bedfordshire
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bolton
  • University of Bradford
  • University of Brighton
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Buckingham
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • University of Chester
  • University of Chichester
  • University of Cumbria
  • University of Derby
  • University of Dundee
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of East London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Essex
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • University of Greenwich
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Hull
  • University of Kent
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Lincoln
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of London
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Northampton
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Reading
  • University of Roehampton
  • University of Salford
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of South Wales
  • University of Southampton
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Stirling
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Suffolk
  • University of Sunderland
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Sussex
  • University of the Arts
  • University of the Highlands and Islands
  • University of the West of England
  • University of the West of Scotland
  • University of Wales
  • University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • University of Warwick
  • University of West London
  • University of Westminster
  • University of Winchester
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • University of Worcester
  • University of York
  • Wrexham Glyndwr University
  • Writtle University College
  • York St John University

By creating an account you agree to the uni news Terms and Conditions, and agree to receive marketing communications.

close icon

subscribe to uni news


get the latest articles straight to your inbox.

"The Now Now" by Gorillaz: songs so far

Set to be released on June 29th, The Now Now is the British virtual band Gorillaz' latest album.

Headed up by Blur's Damon Albarn, the band has achieved success with hits such as Clint EastwoodFeel Good Inc. and DARE. The Now Now promises a summertime, funky spin on the band's typical dark pop vibe, and features more of  Damon Albarn's singing — a fact that puts the album in contrast with Humanz, an album flooded with collaborations.

So far, they've released five tracks: Humility, Lake Zurich, Sorcererz, Fire Flies and Hollywood.

Humility

"Callin' the world from isolation", begins Humility, The Now Now's lead single. In many ways, this lyric sets the tone for the track. It acts as a meta-comment on the singer's relationship with the audience, references Brexit, and establishes 2D's personality for the record. The song continues in much the same vein. Gorillaz' oeuvre is typically postmodern and political, and based on this song, The Now Now sets out to be much the same.

Musically, Humility is a jazz/folk influenced track. George Benson's legendary guitar skills meet Albarn's typical melancholic vocals. The result is a chill track that invites fans and newcomers alike. In addition, the video is a mix of animation and video common to the band. As a living cartoon, Jack Black feels in place in Gorillaz, while the animation quality is excellent. The combination of the superb mixing and smoothness is immersive, especially with good headphones.

It all comes together to create a catchy earworm — one that is very likeable but ultimately lacks an emotional punch.

High Point: When the chorus and the bridge overlap toward the end of the track.
Lake Zurich

As soon as Lake Zurich begins, it throws you into a hypnotic world. Sirens blur with synths as the melody is joined by the video-gamey sounds and melancholic vocals that are so defining of the "Gorillaz Noise". The visualiser is very Gorillaz too, with it's retro, hypnotic nature. The members of Gorillaz spin in the centre, with 2D echoing Tetsuo and Ace replacing Murdoc. Even despite the exciting start, the typical darkness presses at the song. The distorted chanting sounds like "save us from", which recalls this post on the artist's Instagram:

In its few lyrics, Lake Zurich describes the anxiety behind The Now Now. They have the oddly drowned-out quality of 2D's verse in Out of Body,  being a small part of the polyphonic melody of Gorillaz songs.

This plays to the song's strengths. The interpretive elements of the song are available but don't interfere with its musicality, letting it remain a track to vibe to rather than to dwell upon.

High Point: The chattering synths over the chanting in the climax.
Sorcererz

Sorcererz infuses funky synths and a warm keyboard melody with Albarn's drained lyricism. It plays at a more relaxed pace than much of their other fare, and the repetitive nature of the song serves to make it catchier than it otherwise would be. It was unique upon creation among Gorillaz songs in showing its lyrics, a welcome change as Albarn's singing can sometimes be unclear (Rhinestone Eyes' verse, anyone?). The visualiser is also deeply trippy if focused upon. Lyrically, the song seems a commentary on our post-truth world with the title acting as a reference to the creation of our world by others.

The song is ultimately fleeting. The summery quality of the song seems at odds with the vocals, and the song isn't catchy enough to justify its lyrics. Like Humility, the song is fun but soon forgotten.

High Point: The outro, with Albarn's vocals and the funky instrumentation combining.
Fire Flies

(No, not that one.)

Fire Flies shows off Albarn's melancholic vocals, coupled with lyrics that deserve their own essay. The bass wraps around the words, whilst far-away musical glittering echoes the titular fireflies. The song is filled with pathos, as a broken 2D tell us that "I follow a firefly | it takes me | into the night". Lyrically, it seems to be a discussion on losing the self as a result of an obsession, the dissonance and collapse of language at the end recalling Every Planet We Reach Is Dead.

The track recalls much of Gorillaz' early work. Thematically similar to Latin Simone and Tomorrow Comes Today,  the track uses much of the minimalism of their first album. It also has the horror elements and emotional immediacy of much of their early oeuvre, while lacking the muting electronica of tracks such as El Manana. Instrumentally, the track displays the lyrical conflict between the "fireflies" and the "night", whilst the dissonance leaves considerably eerie moments in the track.

The song sits somewhat at odds with the rest of The Now Now so far, however. The song is a trip into darkness whilst the remainder of the album exists in the light. Despite this, the lyrical complexity and beauty have already made it a favourite.

High Point: The iambic lyrics of the bridge.
Hollywood

Hollywood is the latest of the released tracks. An old-school house-inspired track, it features Jamie Principle, who pioneered the genre, and Snoop Dogg. It offers three different perspectives on celebrity, somewhat like Stylo, and seems to be a villain song, like Sweepstakes or Superfast Jellyfish. In it, Jamie takes the role of someone succoured by celebrity, 2D offers a negative view of it, whilst Snoop expresses a view from the position of celebrity.

Lyrically, the song is accomplished. 2D's statement that "Hollywood is alright" subverts traditional hip-hop songs that boast of the trappings of fame. It is also wonderfully genuine; Damon Albarn has experienced fame at both it's best and worst as attested to in The SwaggaHis chorus explains how the celebrity status that has become the American Dream isn't anything special, whilst the thirst for status is destructive. Jamie, on the other hand, is starting to lose himself chasing fame. "She knows how to ride me", he says, a callback to Charger that represents being brainwashed and possessed by celebrity. He personifies Hollywood as a woman, schizophrenically signifying his growing infatuation. Finally, Snoop advertises the trappings of celebrity; sex, drugs, and most importantly jealousy.

The song suggests that it is inevitable that the jealousy persists, and no amount of fame will allow an escape from it. However, it's difficult to laud the instrumentation. This is perhaps the point, an emptiness in the music to match that of celebrity, but it seems the song is left slightly empty as a result. Similarly hollow is Principle's opening, but it isn't enough to ruin the track.

High Point: The animation and lyrics in the chorus.

The Now Now will be released on June 29th and is available on vinyl, CD and digital media.

Featured image: Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock.com

Comments