‘The Valley of the Pagans’ is the eighth song from Gorillaz‘s project Song Machine. The virtual band have been releasing a tune almost every month as opposed to an album, accompanied by their typical eerie, psychedelic and colourful animated music videos.
Usually, I would focus more on the music and the lyrical content, but Gorillaz are a band where the visuals are just as captivating. The video for ‘The Valley of the Pagans involves Noodle (the youngest out of the four) driving an old Mustang around the Grand Theft Auto V open world after they have been sucked into a portal.
2-D chills in the backseat facetiming Beck, who sings the chorus: “I feel so good to have a perfect song / I feel so good to be in total control”. Initially, Noodle roams around the city casually in control of the car, but as we all know, the freedom in an open world game gives way to an existentialist nature.
After a few near misses and and an injection of speed, the car jumps off a ramp and the camera cuts just before they crash into a lamppost: “It’s so convincing, but something’s missing / The sun is kissing my face and erasing my doubts / I’m going out with a bang, and the fangs of a parasite.”
With a newfound discovery of the ‘respawn’ Gorillaz don’t go out with a bang. Instead, they cause chaos in the city and are chased by the police, up to the point where the car flips and they are transported out of the game into the ocean of Plastic Beach.
It’s a typically bizarre but catchy song. Definitely one to cruise to, but not one to recreate on the M25.
Words by Reemul Balla
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