Gorillaz are back with another new song, “Skinny Ape,” and they plan to debut the song live next week with a pair of augmented reality performances in London and New York City.
“Skinny Ape” will appear on Gorillaz’s upcoming album, Cracker Island. The new single begins with a serene bit of acoustic folk guitar and harmony before settling into a steady, synth-driven groove that, in the end, explodes into a delirious rave-up.
As for the next week’s unique “Skinny Ape” performances, the first will take place Dec. 17 at 2:30 p.m. ET in NYC’s Times Square, while the second will occur Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. GMT at London’s Piccadilly Circus. With the help of AR technology, Gorillaz — in all their animated splendor — will be able to appear in these spaces, towering above fans as they perform the song. (Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett directed the performances with French director Fx Goby; the visuals were created by Nexus Studio with the help of Google’s ARCore Geospatial programming interface.)
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For those thinking a giant primate towering above New York City sounds kind of familiar, Gorillaz’s Murdoc Nickels acknowledged the Kong-sized elephant (?) in the room, quipping, “To all our followers, get ready for the biggest Times Square takeover since that other gorilla smashed the place up. Bigger in fact cos there’s four of us. Thanks to the techies at Google, we’ve created the music video event of the century, so don your pink robes and come see Gorillaz like you’ve never seen us before. The future is nigh!”
“Skinny Ape” is the fourth song Gorillaz have shared from Cracker Island, following the title track, featuring Thundercat, “New Gold,” featuring Tame Impala and Bootie Brown,” and “Baby Queen.” The album — which arrives Feb. 24, 2023 — will also feature contributions from Stevie Nicks, Bad Bunny, Beck, and Adeleye Omotayo.