Damon Albarn has a history of saying a lot of things that don’t come to fruition: Whatever happened to that new Blur album? So when Albarn recently announced he was “in the process of reactivating” Gorillaz for a release aimed at 2016, fans had a right to be a bit skeptical, especially given the public falling out between Albarn and Gorillaz collaborator Jamie Hewlett. But now, Hewlett has also teased the return of Gorillaz, posting new artwork on his Instagram page and writing in the comments section, “Yes Gorillaz Returns.”
As fans on Reddit have pointed out, Hewlett’s freshly drawn images of Noodle and Murdoc appear to depict the characters at a younger age than they were during 2010’s Plastic Beach. What this means for the direction of a new album is unclear, but it does suggest Hewlett’s artwork could have a bigger role than it did during the Plastic Beach-era. (Albarn chose to support the album with a full band tour while limiting the role of artwork in the accompanying stage show, causing friction between him and Hewlett.)
Hewlett also recently announced plans for a Gorillaz retrospective art book. Meanwhile, Albarn is writing music for a theatrical adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, and has also teased a new album from The Good, The Bad, and The Queen.