With Donald Trump stepping in as President of the United States tomorrow, some have wondered when the promised era of great protest music was going to begin. With their first release in five years, Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz have returned to say: right now.
“Hallelujah Money,” the first Gorillaz track since 2012’s seeming swan song “Do Ya Thing,” was released without warning Thursday morning, showcasing Benjamin Clementine’s astounding vocals and a new line of satirical thinking that, while perhaps in step with contemporary politics, is nonetheless chilling. “Don’t worry / It’s not against our morals / It’s legally tender,” Clementine intones before identifying the one thing that “all beasts desire: power.”
For those who expected that one thing everyone wants to be love, the song identifies love as “the root of all evil,” furthering the upside-down worldview of the song—and the world it enters. And for those unconvinced that the song is intended as a commentary on current events, the video, directed by Giorgio Testi and Gorillaz, begins with Clementine standing in a replica of a Trump Tower corridor.
On Twitter, the band described the track thus:
Dark times - u need someone to look up to. Me. Here’s a lightning bolt of truth in a black night. Now piss on! New stuff won’t write itself. https://t.co/tOqYnXqrU2— gorillaz (@gorillaz) January 19, 2017
Released via Uproxx, “Hallelujah Money” is a taster for the first Gorillaz album since 2010’s The Fall, although it’s unclear whether or not the song will appear on the finished album, which is tentatively scheduled for release later this year.