Photo from gorillaz.nortamerica on instagram

In late 2015, Gorillaz officially announced plans to begin recording their first album since 2011’s The Fall, an expeditious follow-up release just nine months after the critically acclaimed concept album Plastic Beach. We haven’t heard much from the group since, but speculation around the album’s release date placed it towards the tail end of 2016. Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett stated through a recent post uploaded on the fan account gorillaz.northamerica, that the album release date would be pushed back to 2017.

WE GOT JAMIE NEWS! This here is HIM and our friend Linda. JAMIE says new GORILLAZ is special, really fuckin special. Can't be rushed. 2017, yo. Fuck. So, guys, that Gorilla Fund, we got time. Go shop, take vacation, that shit aint happening this year. BUT its gonna be all that and more. And….Jamie follows us. So….you got something to say to him and don't wanna get yelled at on his IG by his very serious followers, say it here! HE IS HERE. Watching, reading and digging it. He loves this account and appreciates our repping. #JamieHewlett #JamieSaid #ThoseWords #FuckinAye #Gorillaz #Gorillaz2017 #ThisIsNotOurFace #WeTookThePic #HalfOfUsWasThere #OtherHalfInMontreal #Explanations #DidWeMention #JamieWasMadCool #Animated #Friendly #GangstaToo #HisShow #HisArt #SoCool #Go #IfYouCan

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The caption reads: “WE GOT JAMIE NEWS! This here is HIM and our friend Linda. JAMIE says new GORILLAZ is special, really fuckin special. Can’t be rushed. 2017, yo. Fuck. So, guys, that Gorilla Fund, we got time. Go shop, take vacation, that shit aint happening this year. BUT its gonna be all that and more. And….Jamie follows us. So….you got something to say to him and don’t wanna get yelled at on his IG by his very serious followers, say it here! HE IS HERE. Watching, reading and digging it. He loves this account and appreciates our repping.”

In 2015 interview, Damon Albarn said about the upcoming album, “So far, it’s really fast, and it’s got quite a lot of energy. I’ve been stuck on piano, somewhere off Broadway, for years now. I want to go somewhere completely opposite of that.”

Remi Kabaka, producer and voice of Gorillaz “member” Russel Hobbs recently uploaded a photo of Chicago-based hip-hop artist Vic Mensa recording in the studio, leading to speculation that Mensa might appear on the next album.

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As for the artistic direction for the upcoming release, Hewlett has said “It’s going to change – I can’t tell you how. But of course it’s going to be different, I can’t do what I’ve already done, that’s not interesting to me. In the same way Damon changes with his music and moves forward, I do the same. It’s going to be a different look.”