I didn't adore a lot of songs off the most recent Gorillaz record like I did Demon Days or Plastic Beach. But if there's any track from Humanz that really blew me away, it was "Let Me Out" featuring Pusha T and the legendary Mavis Staples.
If you can't tell, much of Humanz was hugely influenced by the 2016 presidential election. Damon Albarn was (is) pissed, and so was (is) all his collaborators on the record. I think this frustration comes to a climax on "Let Me Out," which is presented as a kind of conversation between two generations of African-Americans facing racial discrimination in the U.S.
Albarn sets up a musical table for Pusha and Mavis to sit at: a younger man experiencing modern day, viral prejudice and a woman who was performing gospel with her family during the Martin Luther King Jr. rallies. Pusha's opening verse is poignant and intense, expressing his concern and displeasure. Mavis sings back a call for patience, but preparation for change because it is coming. Personally, just the fact that Mavis continues to lend her voice to all these hip, new rock bands (she was also on a recent Arcade Fire single) makes me super happy. Her voice is one of the strongest in all of American soul and gospel, and she's not going anywhere.
Below is the band's performance on Colbert from April. It rocks.