Automatic, also known as the trio of muses named Izzy Glaudini (synths, lead vocals), Lola Dompé (drums, vocals), and Halle Saxon-Gaines (bass), release a delightful new ‘ode to psycho-feminine energy,’ entitled “Venus Hour”. The track is the second single that comes off their forthcoming new album, Excess.
Looking backward to go forward, Automatic rip apart up typical post-punk conventions, returning to the retrofuturism and krautrock from which the genre gestated. With its infectious hook, humming chorus, and minimalism the song brings to mind classic charmers like Delta 5, Au Pairs, and Suburban Lawns. The track perches the hazy precipice of 1970s underground and 80s corporate culture.
The song is “about whatever it is inside you that makes you want to do that thing that isn’t logical, or safe,” says Glaudini, who describes “Venus Hour” as ‘that fleeting moment when what was once cool quickly turned and became mainstream, all for the sake of consumerism…Desire is a double-edged sword, an impulse that can result in addiction.”
The Super-8 video for the song, directed by Sylvie Lake, is a wonderful throwback to the irreverence of A Hard Day’s Night and The Monkees, with a flash of Twiggy glam for good measure. Each member of the band represents a female character from a different era: 1930s (Izzy), 1960s (Lola), and 1990s (Halle), all seen through distortion and mirror images that visualize the song’s themes of performance and gender identity.
Inspiration came from Thoroughly Modern Millie (Lola), Peewee’s Playhouse on VHS (Halle), and The Tales of Hoffmann (Izzy). The video was shot in iconic Californian locations: Izzy dances with two sculptures at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Lola is shown at Frank Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall in L.A., and Halle walks through the Niki De Saint Phalle sculpture garden.
The time-bending cinematography make it hard to place exactly when this band hails, and that only adds to the charm. A swarm of Xanadu-style muses for the postmodern world.
Watch the video for “Venus Hour” below:
Excess grapples with contemporary concerns – the exodus of the super-rich from an uninhabitable Earth, the precarity of the art life, Gen Z inheriting the planet at the eleventh hour. The album’s final message, however, is one of solidarity rather than despair.
The LP is out June 24 via Stones Throw.
Pre-order the album here.
Automatic has confirmed new tour dates with IDLES in addition to their upcoming shows with Tame Impala, Parquet Courts, and Osees; and a spot at LA’s Cruel World Festival. From there they head to Europe for a run of shows which includes Wide Awake (UK), Primavera Sound (Spain), and Best Kept Secret (Netherlands). This September they’ve confirmed a quick West Coast run with Osees – more shows are to be announced.
See below for a full list of dates and visit their website for tickets and more info.
Automatic Tour Dates:
US (with IDLES)
- Apr 14: San Diego, CA – SOMA
- Apr 19: Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom
- Apr 20: Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
US (with Parquet Courts)
- Apr 22: Seattle, WA – Showbox
- Apr 23: Vancouver, BC – Imperial
- Apr 25: Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
- Apr 27: Oakland, CA – Fox
- Apr 28: Los Angeles, CA – Wiltern
- May 14-15: Los Angeles, CA – Cruel World Festival
US (with Tame Impala)
- May 24: Wilmington, NC – Live Oak Bank Pavilion
- May 26: Columbus, OH – KEMBA Live! Festival Stage
UK & EUROPE
- May 28: UK, London – Wide Awake
- May 29: UK, Manchester – Yes
- May 30: UK, Leeds – Headrow House
- May 31: UK, Brighton – Green Door Store
- Jun 01: FR, Lille – L’Aéronef
- Jun 02: FR, Paris – L’international
- Jun 03: FR, Angers – Levitation
- Jun 04: ES, Barcelona – Primavera
- Jun 05: ES, Barcelona – Primavera
- Jun 08: IT, Ravenna – Beaches Brew
- Jun 09: CH, Neuchatel – Festineuch
- Jun 10: CH, Aarau – Kiff (with Choir Boy & Soft Kill)
- Jun 11: DE, Mannheim – Maifeld Derbi
- Jun 12: NL, Hilvarenbeek – Best Kept Secret
- Jun 13: NL, Amsterdam – Bitterzoet
- Jun 14: NL, Nijmegen – Merleyn
- Jun 15: DE, Berlin – UFO Sound Studios
- Jun 16: DE, Koln – Bumann & Sohn
- Jun 17: BE, Charlerois – Fete De La Musique
- Jun 18: NL, Den Haag – Grauzone
US (with Osees)
- Sep 05: San Francisco, CA – Chapel
- Sep 06: San Francisco, CA – Chapel
- Sep 07: San Francisco, CA- Chapel
- Sep 09: Portland, OR – Roseland
- Sep 10: Seattle, WA – Neumos
- Sep 11: Seattle, WA – Neumos