Damon Albarn revealed in October 2014 that, following the release of his solo LP Everyday Robots, he was next setting his sights on a variety of projects, including a new Gorillaz record that he had earmarked for 2016. On Friday, artist Jamie Hewlett, Albarn’s other half in the cartoon troupe, confirmed on Instagram that the Plastic Beach crew is returning by sharing new images of Gorillaz’ Murdoc and Noodle.
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Revolt reports that Hewlett first let the fans know something was stirring with Gorillaz when he posted a pencil sketch of the fictional band’s bassist Murdoc. The following day, Hewlett returned to Instagram with his finished version of the Murdoc drawing as well as a new portrait of guitarist Noodle. When fans asked Hewlett in the comments of the images whether this means Gorillaz were back, the comic book artist responded simply, “Yes Gorillaz Returns.”
Gorillaz last released their 2011 iPad-recorded album The Fall, which was created on the road as Albarn and company toured the U.S. in support of the previous year’s Plastic Beach. In that October 2014 interview with Sydney Morning Herald, Albarn didn’t share any more details about the next Gorillaz album, but he did promise that he’d already written the next batch of songs for the long-awaited follow-up to his supergroup the Good, the Band and the Queen’s 2007 self-titled album.
In that interview, Albarn also mentioned that he was working on an adaptation of a children’s book for a West End musical. That project has since been announced: Albarn contributed music to wonder.land, a reinterpretation of Lewis Carroll’s 1865 story Alice in Wonderland. That production will debut this July at the Manchester International Festival before setting off to London in November 2015.