Gorillaz – “Friday 13th” (Feat. Octavian)
It turns out that at least one benefit of being a virtual band helmed by a producer who also happens to have his own studio is that you are rather pandemic-proof. As such: Gorillaz’ Song Machine project continues unabated, still spitting out new songs as they’re completed. In the last couple months, we’ve heard “Momentary Bliss,” “Désolé,” and “Aries.” (The latter was one of the best songs to come out of this revived Gorillaz period, and it landed amongst our favorites that week.) And today, Damon Albarn’s constantly-mutating cartoon band is back with another one.
Each Song Machine entry has been a little different, though they’ve all had the woozy sun-dappled textures that Albarn started to pivot to on The Now Now following the bleaker, blearier Humanz. And each one is a different kind of Gorillaz song — a duet with Fatoumata Diawara on “Désolé,” taking lead on the surging synth-pop of “Aries.” The latest Song Machine track, “Friday 13th,” is one of those Gorillaz songs where Albarn cedes the spotlight almost entirely, providing a showcase for the young London rapper Octavian.
“Friday 13th” is built on airy, smearing synths and guitar notes. Above it, Octavian raps and sings the hook, with Albarn only showing up for a brief interlude later in the track. Like the other Song Machine releases, “Friday 13th” comes with a video, though instead of the travelogue narratives of “Désolé” and “Aries,” the band members “self-filmed at home during lockdown.” Check it out below.