Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Gorillaz On World Cafe

Damon Albarn joins <em>World Cafe</em> to talk about the new Gorillaz album, <em>Humanz.</em>
J.C. Hewlett
Courtesy of the artist
Damon Albarn joins World Cafe to talk about the new Gorillaz album, Humanz.

The musical mastermind and human frontman of Gorillaz, Damon Albarn, started writing Humanz more than a year ago, before Donald Trump was the Republican nominee for President. He says the album started with one clear premise: "I imagined him winning the election and sort of set the album a year ahead, on the night Donald Trump won. And how would I feel? How would we spend that night?" Albarn calls the concept a "dark fantasy" and talks about how the meaning of Humanz has changed now that it's a political reality.

He also discusses the collaborative backbone of the band. In true Gorillaz fashion, Humanz features virtual-reality cartoons illustrated by Jamie Hewlett, plus a pile of electric cameos by artists like Mavis Staples, Pusha T, Carly Simon, Grace Jones and even Albarn's former '90s Britpop rival, Noel Gallagher of Oasis. Albarn talks about the night he and Gallagher buried the hatchet over a drink and what they've got in common now. He also shares who's still on his collaboration wish list.

Hear that whole conversation — plus live, in-studio performances by Gorillaz of a few of the songs fromHumanz — in this session.

Copyright 2021 XPN. To see more, visit XPN.

Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.