Posted Dec 10th, 2010 (12:26 am) by Jason Brow

Gorillaz fans will look back on 2010 as a great year. In addition to the release of the new album, Plastic Beach, and a plethora of coverage that has included both a full-spread in GQ and a BBC radio show hosted by Murdock, the band's bassist, the group is giving fans a literal Christmas present: a free album of new material.

Puppetmaster Damon Albarn worked with the touring musicians and collaborators on this year’s Plastic Beach tour, on something that Albarn has stated is a "kind of diary of my experience in America."

The situation that led to this is a combination Albern's desire to have a raw, under-polished experience to give to fans, and also that his label's parent company, EMI, is broke. There's no money to do a proper commercial release and Albern stated that he wanted avoid criticism of him "tampering" with the tracks since the band has been on tour.

Go to Gorillaz.com to check out their Advent Calendar, which offers a treat every day until the 25th. On that day, fans will be able to download the new album for free. Want live versions of classic tracks or all new material? You'll have to wait until Christmas.

Until then, we leave you with Gorillaz's rendition of The XX's "Crystalized". You might be surprised by it; it sounds nothing like their psychedelic Plastic Beach vibe, and is more mellowed out. We hope you like it as much as we do.

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