Gorillaz have shared episode eight of the virtual band’s Song Machine song/music video series, which is titled “The Valley of the Pagans” and features American rocker Beck.
The song initially appeared on the band’s recent album, Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez, which contained both previous Song Machine audio/video releases and previously-unheard audio versions of collaborations between Gorillaz and world-renowned musicians. With the release of the music video for “The Valley of the Pagans”, this collaboration joins “The Pink Phantom”, “Strange Timez“, “PAC-MAN“, “Friday 13th”, “How Far?“, “Aries“, “Désolé“,” and “Momentary Bliss” as Song Machine tracks with an accompanying music video.
Lyrically, the world’s favorite virtual band sings of a place with “permanent sun/Where the flowers are melted and the future is fun.” The upbeat, feel-good song describes a place with “One hundred million Viagra tablets” and sun that kisses one’s face and erases all doubts. Gorillaz co-founder Damon Albarn‘s songwriting paints a picture of Los Angeles with lines like “In the valley where you wake up beautiful every day/ And the world you created in your image is golden.”
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When combined with the video, however, it becomes clear that the Gorillaz weren’t singing of Los Angeles when referencing “The Valley of the Pagans”, but Los Santos—a virtual city in the popular Rockstar Games title, Grand Theft Auto V.
Directed by band co-founder Jamie Hewlett, “The Valley of the Pagans” begins with virtual members 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Russel Hobbs, and Noodle driving through a portal and into the video game world. Noodle drives like most do in the city, with reckless abandon. As the familiar GTA V cinematic camera follows them through the well-known streets of Los Santos, and the game’s Hollywood knockoff, “Vinewood”, Beck appears on 2-D’s cellphone located on the bottom right of the screen as the group weaves in and out of traffic. His vocals on the chorus add to the summertime feel of the song and harmonize well with 2-D throughout. This unique collaboration was one of the standouts on Strange Timez, harkening back to some of the older Gorillaz hits, like Demon Days‘ “Feel Good Inc.”
Check out the new music video for “The Valley of the Pagans” below and head to the band’s YouTube page for future Song Machine releases.
Gorillaz w/Beck – “The Valley of the Pagans”