Automatic – the trio of Izzy Glaudini (synths, lead vocals), Lola Dompé (drums, vocals), and Halle Saxon (bass) – is back with their second album, Excess.
Watch the video for “New Beginning”, directed by Ambar Navarro below.
Pre-order Excess on vinyl and deluxe eco-mix vinyl here.
On Excess, Automatic synthesizes a new strain of retrofuturist motorik pop. The album rides the imaginary edge where the ‘70s underground met the corporate culture of the ‘80s – or, as the band puts it, “That fleeting moment when what was once cool quickly turned and became mainstream, all for the sake of consumerism.”
Using this point in time as a lens through which to view the present moment, Excess takes aim at corporate culture and extravagance via the medium of icy motorik pop songs. The overarching themes of alienation and escapism emerged as Automatic put Excess together, taking writing retreats to flesh out the new songs before decamping to the studio for sprint recording sessions with producer Joo Joo Ashworth (Sasami, FROTH).
On “New Beginning” – inspired by the Swedish sci-fi film Aniara – Automatic reject the false hope of leaving behind a scorched planet and searching for “a better place”, at a moment when the ultra-rich are eyeing manned space travel: “In the service of desire / We will travel far away”. Imagining the “nihilism and loneliness” of attempting to escape the planet once unchecked consumerism has reached its logical outcome, the song pictures being “stranded in a space-void with no connection to Earth or humanity.” In the video directed by Ambar Navarro, a trip to space starts out fun before taking a dark turn.
The mirrored bodice on the album’s cover – shot at California’s Salton Sea, a site of environmental decay – reflects the present day Automatic explores on Excess: distorted and chaotic with a sleek sheen. But Excess’ final message is one of solidarity, rather than despair. As Izzy puts it, “The record is about what happens to our psyches when we’re conditioned to certain values, the consequences of those values, and a desire to resist them.”