Gorillaz continue to tease their upcoming Song Machine: Season One album with its latest song: “The Pink Phantom” featuring Elton John and 6LACK.
The rousing piano-driven ballad opens with frontman Damon Albarn before 6LACK joins him with a heavily Auto-Tuned verse. John appears later on to deliver the chorus and emotional outro. “I tried to get to Atlanta / On a peach blossom highway / I’m tryin’ to put these puzzles out of mind / In a sky made of diamonds,” the English icon croons.
According to a press statement, John and Albarn had worked on the song separately. “I was in the studio in London and he was at the other end in Devon, but even remotely it was such an engaging and creative process,” John said.
“I’ve always loved Damon because he encompasses so many different sorts of music,” John added. “I’ve always been a Gorillaz fan, anyway, so when he asked me to do a Gorillaz track—it was a no-brainer. I’m so very, very happy that that’s come about.”
The collaboration dropped alongside a visual featuring the cartoon band and its featured guests. 6LACK appears as a psychedelic hologram, while John transforms into an animated version of himself.
“The Pink Phantom” is the latest preview of Song Machine: Season One, following last month’s “Strange Timez” with The Cure’s Robert Smith. Other tracks expected to appear on Gorillaz’s forthcoming release include “Pac-Man” and “How Far?,” which featured contributions from Skepta and the late Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen.
Song Machine: Season One is due out October 23. Watch the video for “The Pink Phantom” below: