Los Angeles-based post punk outfit Automatic — Izzy Glaudini (synths, vocals), Lola Dompé (drums, vocals) and Halle Saxon (bass, vocals) — met while immersed in their hometown’s DIY scene. They started jamming together back in 2017.
Since then, the trio quickly became a local club circuit mainstay. Their full-length debut, 2019’s Signals saw the trio quickly establishing their sound, which paired motorik grooves with icy atmospheres.
Stones Throw Records released the Los Angeles-based trios sophomore album, Excess earlier this year. Sonically Excess reportedly rides the imaginary edge where the ’70s underground met ’80s corporate culture — or as the band says “That fleeting moment when what was once cool quickly turned and became mainstream all for the sake of consumerism.” Using that particular point in time as a lens through which to view our uncertain and seemingly apocalyptic present, the album’s material sees the trio taking aim at corporate culture and extravagance through deadpan critiques and razor sharp hooks.
Earlier this year, I wrote about album single “Skyscraper,” a dance floor friendly bop built around glistening synth arpeggios, relentless four-on-the-floor and disco-influenced bass lines paired with an icy, insouciant delivery and razor sharp, well-placed hooks. And while sonically seeming like a slick and effortless synthesis of Blondie, Devo and Talking Heads, the song is rooted in incisive and politically charged commentary. The band’s Halle Saxon explains that “Skyscraper” is ” . . .about spending your life making money and then spending it to fill the void created by said job.” Lola Dompé adds, “Kind of like going to LA to live your dreams.”
“Teen Beat,” Excess‘ latest single is a centered around multi-part harmonized chanted vocals, bubbling and arpeggiated synths and a relentless motorik groove. Sonically being a bit of a mesh of Gang of Four and Nots, the song continues a run of material rooted in incisive and urgent political commentary.
“The title was taken from a preset on a dinky drum machine, and the song is about the chaos of climate change descending upon Gen Z,” the band explain.
Directed by Kevin Clark, the accompanying video for “Teen Beat” is a surreal and apocalyptic fever dream that features the trio seemingly preparing for the end of the world in the California desert.