In late January, the Damon Albarn-led group Gorillaz teased a new project titled Song Machine. While it at first wasn’t clear what form the new project would take, Gorillaz began cranking out singles with an ever-evolving eclectic array of artists from UK rapper Slowthai to Kate Tempest’s former drummer Georgia. Now, Gorillaz once again return with the brand-new single “Pac-Man,” which arrives on the 40th anniversary of the iconic arcade game.
This time, Gorillaz tapped LA rapper Schoolboy Q to offer up a verse on the new single. A digital beat accompanied by a sweeping bass provides the song’s instrumentals as Albarn offers breathy lyrics: “I’m a mad Pac-Man / Living in levelled world / Everywhere I go / I don’t know where I am.” The beat breaks down into a cacophony of synths before Schoolboy Q’s hard-hitting verse puts it back on track.
The song’s accompanying video was directed by Jamie Hewlett and depicts the band being taken over by an addictive video game. Gorillaz’s members begin to feel the hallucinogenic effects of the game before getting a much-needed wake-up call.
“Pac-Man” marks the fifth installation of Gorillaz’s Song Machine series. The group kicked off their project with a collaboration with Slowthai and Slaves, before sharing the tracks “Désolé,” “Aries,” and most recently, “Friday 13th” with Octavian.
Listen to Gorillaz and Schoolboy Q’s “Pac-Man” above.
Gorillaz are a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.