Gorillaz (Ft. Daley) – “Doncamatic” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

“Doncamatic” by Gorillaz, featuring Daley, touches on the concept of change and adapting to new situations. It’s about reclaiming past dreams and aspirations that might have been lost along the way. The song hints at the rapid-paced world of the music industry and the challenges artists face staying relevant. The mention of “the game” seems to refer to this industry’s fickleness, while the “white book” might be past successes or old playbooks that no longer apply. Overall, it’s a call to evolve and embrace the new, while still remembering your roots.

Let’s see why “Doncamatic” is a wake-up call and a reflection on the state of music and personal identity.


“Doncamatic” Lyrics Meaning

From the get-go, “Doncamatic” kicks off with a mood of contemplation. The “Down lowly” line captures this sentiment, suggesting a moment of reflection or perhaps a sense of being ‘down’ or ‘low’ in spirits.

“Make up for the time you’ve wasted” immediately calls out the notion of missed opportunities or lost time. It’s a nudge to not dwell in regrets, but rather to take action now.

“Close the white book” could refer to moving past old stories or ways of thinking that don’t serve any purpose in the present. The urgency in “Unplug the brain from the game” seems to urge artists to detach from the traditional rat race or the manipulations of the industry, suggesting it’s time to make authentic music that matters.

The repeated phrase “all played out” dives deeper into the theme of things becoming repetitive or obsolete, which, in the context of the music world, might mean that once-unique styles or genres are now overused or clichéd.

“Tell me did you feel that?” acts as a recurring checkpoint, prompting listeners to really engage and introspect on the message conveyed.

As the song progresses, there’s a noticeable emphasis on memories fading and the challenges in holding onto the essence of who you were amidst the pressures of change. “You see the memories all fade out” can be a reminder that while everything evolves, it’s crucial to retain the core of what made an artist unique to start with.

The Story Behind “Doncamatic”

“Doncamatic” is an intriguing track, adding a unique layer to Gorillaz’s diverse discography. When this song was released, the band was going through a transformative period, navigating the challenges of evolving their sound while retaining their identity.

Gorillaz has always been known for its genre-blending and boundary-pushing music, constantly experimenting and never wanting to be pigeonholed into one particular sound. At the time, there was a noticeable shift in the music industry. The rise of auto-tuned pop tracks, the demand for instant hits, and the pressure to conform were palpable. And it’s in this environment that “Doncamatic” was born.

Featuring Daley, a then-up-and-coming British singer with a unique voice, the collaboration itself was a testament to the band’s commitment to showcasing fresh talent. The title “Doncamatic” is a nod to an old drum machine from the 1960s, emphasizing the juxtaposition between the old and the new, a recurrent theme in the song.

Damon Albarn, the mastermind behind Gorillaz, is known for his introspective approach to songwriting, often commenting on societal shifts and the state of the world through his music. With “Doncamatic”, it’s evident he was contemplating the rapid changes in the music world, the fleeting nature of fame, and the relentless chase for relevance.

The song is a beautiful snapshot of a moment in time, capturing the introspection and uncertainty that comes with transformation, both personally and on the broader music landscape. It’s a reminder to stay true, even when the world around you is constantly changing.