Gorillaz return with Song Machine Episode 2


Story by Zoe Wexler, Features Editor

The virtual band and international sensation, Gorillaz, is back with another project that challenges the status quo of the modern day music industry. Continuing the recent start of their Song Machine project, the group released the Song Machine Episode 2 EP in collaboration with Malian singer-songwriter, Fatoumata Diawara.

Song Machine Episode 2 is a three track release, with lead single “Désolé” in between “Machine Bitez #4” and “Machine Bitez #5.” These first and second tracks contain snippets of conversations describing hints about inspirations for “Désolé” as well parts of the ever-evolving Gorillaz storyline.

The main track, translating to “sorry” in English, combines English and French in a story of saying goodbye and losing someone, which leaves the lover feeling lonely and deserted. Although the lyrics of the single seem gloomy and desperate, the overall tune is upbeat and meant for easy listening. The layered instrumentals make up an intricate sound, almost reflective of the situation being depicted by the lyrics; percussion and an island-like guitar progression pair with synthesizers, keyboards, flutes, and string instruments to create music that sounds like a lazy summer day. In the later parts of the six-minute song, brassy horns join the mix of instruments, giving the song its full and bright sound. 

Even though the EP is in collaboration with another artist, the tracks still give the same feeling as older Gorillaz music that fans have come to love, with the voice of the featured artist meshing perfectly with that of Gorillaz lead singer, 2-D, voiced by Damon Albarn. Comments on the lyrics posted by Genius reveal that fans think that the lead track is reminiscent of the band’s earlier album, Plastic Beach.

The project, as always, is paired with a music video featuring the band’s animated characters, 2-D, Noodle, Russel Hobbs, and Murdoc Niccals. In the video, 2-D embarks on a cheerful boatride with Diawara and Albarn; however, the easy going premise is contrasted by a gloomy sky, the shadow of a giant monster in the distance, and video segments of Murdoc crying. These contradicting elements relate back to the bittersweet lyrics, showing how the positives of the lost relationship are overshadowed by the reasons for splitting.

Fan speculation in regards to the meaning of the music video is wide-spread, especially after the Gorillaz YouTube Channel held a discussion in the comments of their music video with their two characters- Noodle and 2-D. Although fans are not sure what will come next for the characters or who Gorillaz will collaborate with next, a sneak peek of the next episode was revealed in the last few seconds of the music video. The short clip embodied all that is eighties-inspired pop, and if it is anything like the current episode, Song Machine Episode 3 is sure to be a hit.

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