Five years after releasing their last album The FallGorillaz co-creators Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn have announced a new album set to come out next year. The virtual band has garnered much success in the past through their unique combination of comic book art and diverse musical styles. Although there was speculation in the past that the band would not return, recent announcements have proven otherwise.

In a recent interview with DIY Magazine, Hewlett stated, “I’m working on it at the moment, and it’s going very well. I’m very excited. I don’t want to say too much about it, but I’m at that phase of experimentation.” He goes on to state that during this phase of experimentation he usually shuts out other artwork which ultimately ruins his creative process, a consequence which he hopes to avoid in the near future. The long-awaited return of Gorillaz is sure to be one for the books.

Of course, the virtual band is not the only major project that the two artists have been working on. Hewlett, who is known for his comic book art, has put together his first ever fine art exhibition: entitled The Suggestionists, the exhibition will comprise of three pieces. The first piece, ‘Tarot’, will feature a portrayal of marvelous tarot cards, while his second piece, ‘Honey’, will dive into the world of adult cinema lobbies. The third and final piece, ‘Pines’, will showcase intricately designed trees. Hewlett’s work will be on display this November at the Saatchi Gallery in London.

Meanwhile, Albarn has been creating new music for another one of his bands The Good, The Bad, & The Queen. In addition to a solo album released during April of last year, it is clear to see that Albarn has been very busy with his musical career even though Gorillaz hasn’t seen any new releases for quite some time. He also worked on Adele’s highly anticipated new album, but admits that he believes his work might not make the final cut. Nonetheless, Albarn has plenty of other platforms to showcase his musical talent through.

Although the two are still in the progress of creating the new album, much anticipation is building for what is sure to be a triumphant return for Gorillaz.