New Video: Automatic Shares Slow-Burning “Turn Away”

Los Angeles-based post punk outfit Automatic — Izzy Glaudini (synths, vocals), Lola Dompé (drums, vocals) and Halle Saxon (bass, vocals) — can trace their origins to their hometown’s DIY scene: Each individual member had been immersed in the scene when they met. They started jamming back in 2017. 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. 

The trio’s sophomore album Excess was released last year through Stones Throw Records. The album sees the band sonically riding an imaginary edge where the ’70s underground met ’80s corporate culture. 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 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. 

Last year, I wrote about two album singles:

  • 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 BlondieDevo 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,” a single centered around multi-part harmonized chanted vocals, bubbling and arpeggiated synths and a relentless motorik groove that seemed like a seamless mesh of Gang of Four and Nots. Much like its predecessor, “Teen Beat” continues a run of material that 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. 

“Turn Away,” Excess‘ latest single is a slow-burning, bop centered around a syrupy groove rooted in a rapid-fire boom bap-like drumming, twinkling, reverb-drenched keys and a propulsive bass line paired with sultrily delivered vocals and the trio’s unerring knack for razor sharp hooks.

Directed by Amber Navarro, the accompanying video for “Turn Away” begins with the band flying aboard a private jet, when something goes disastrously wrong mid-flight. The plane crashes and the trio miraculously survives what appears to be a catastrophic crash in the middle of the desert. Naturally, the members of the band are left to fend for themselves — completely alone.

“We got to work together with Ambar Navarro, our friend and director of the first music video off our album Excess, ‘New Beginning’. We have a lot of fun on set with Ambar because she gets our sense of humor and she visually adds some lightness to the heavier themes of our album, like climate change and income inequality. We become the capitalist death cult in this satirical animation of what could happen if we as a society continue on this path of excess.”