The “virtual band,” a project started by two musicians but consisting of four animated members, debuted “Ode to Idaho” during a Seattle performance on Saturday. Gorillaz dabbles in everything from alternative rock to hip hop tunes, but “Ode to Idaho” offers a more country feel.
Multiple videos of the live performance popped up on YouTube over the weekend. Gorillaz main musician Damon Albarn and a chorus of other musicians can be seen performing in front of a screen showing what look like photos of Idaho’s foothills.
Warning: The video contains some graphic language.
The lyrics of the song seem to applaud Idaho’s landscape as seen from a tour bus.
“Idaho, Idaho,” Albarn sings in the chorus. “There’s a beauty on the road.”
Some fans online aren’t sure how to feel about it.
“I was there and thought it was pretty good, but not necessarily something I’d want to listen to again beyond having the story of ‘hey I was at the concert where they played this for the first time,’” wrote one Reddit user on a thread about the new tune.
Another said the twangy song was a welcome break from the normal electronic pop that Gorillaz produces.
“It was kind of lame but has a cool story,” wrote a third.
During the concert, Albarn told the crowd he “really fell in love with Idaho” when the band celebrated a member’s birthday in a “very, you know, sealed kind of community.”
“We ended up at, apparently, Bruce Willis’ ski lodge,” Albarn said. “But he wasn’t there, and I thought, ‘That’s a weird connection I’ve just made with Bruce Willis, having never met him before.’”
Willis once owned the Soldier Mountain Ski Lodge near Fairfield.
It’s not clear when Gorillaz plans to release an official version of the song, if at all. The Statesman has reached out to the band’s management for comment.