Words & Deeds

Does this new ‘Idaho’ song from a Grammy-winning act rank among the best Gem State jams?

Damon Albarn, center, of Gorillaz performs at the 2017 Outside Lands Music Festival at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Calif., in 2017.
Damon Albarn, center, of Gorillaz performs at the 2017 Outside Lands Music Festival at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Calif., in 2017. Invision/AP

When Grammy-winning British band Gorillaz unveiled a new ode to “Idaho” during a Seattle concert last fall, folks around here got a little excited.

The Idaho Statesman wrote it up and posted a clip from the show. There was a Reddit thread or two.

But now that Gorillaz finally released a studio version of the song — the new album, “The Now Now,” came out about two weeks ago — I’m still waiting for Gem State reaction.

Supposedly inspired by our state’s beauty, “Idaho” is equal parts folksy, dreamy and psychedelic. Bonus points: It even contains a brief but freaky elk bugle moment. Since Gorillaz is a virtual band consisting of four animated members, it’s probably safe to assume they haven’t done much wild-game sightseeing.

Give it a listen. What do you think?

Why did an Essex, England, alt-rock group do a song about Idaho? Apparently, Gorillaz musician Damon Albarn spent time at Soldier Mountain Ski Resort near Fairfield and “really fell in love with Idaho.”

Lots of musicians seem to feel that way. Whether its The B-52’s “Private Idaho” or Jewel’s “No Z in Boise,” songs mentioning Idaho aren’t all that rare. Last year, I compiled a list of 10 definitive Gem State songs, which included those tunes along with contributions from Train, Josh Ritter, Built To Spill and others. There are many honorable (and dishonorable) mentions beyond that, whether it’s a fun, obscure “Boise” song from Remedy Motel or Afroman’s ridiculous, X-rated “Idaho.” (Don’t click on that, Grandma!)

So where does the Gorillaz song stack up among Idaho tributes? Somewhere in the middle. The chorus is repetitive enough to stick with you, but it’s hard to add this surreal tune to the regular-rotation playlist. Maybe in elk camp, if you’re looking to set a trippy hunting-season atmosphere?

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