“Signal,” the debut album from L.A. synth-pop trio Automatic, is full of “Stranger Conversations” — the song by that name is but one of them — all of them deadpanned as if to serve as an antidote to all the whooping, hollering and cooing in modern music. The album, which was released on Stones Throw Records on Sept. 27, finds Izzy Glaudini (synths), Lola Dompé (drums) and Halle Saxon (bass) marching to the Motorik beats of forebears such as NEU! and Suicide.
It’s icy cool, strangely hypnotic and marvelously skeletal, as if it were made not by a human but a “Humanoid” (a slow-motion highlight of the album). That said, amid its bent notes, robotic beats and detached vocals, “Signal” reveals something seemingly antipodal to its sound, a strong yearning for real interaction.
You know, the kind you might seek by going out on a Tuesday, as the protagonist in the “Strange Conversations” video, played by Sarah Abney, does. The video, directed by Byron Blum, finds her going it alone in a bar where Automatic is playing. The only thing that suffers is the label on her bottle of beer.
Early arrivals to Desert Daze can catch Automatic (thankfully, indoors in the Theatre tent) at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday.
||| Watch: the video for “Strange Conversations”
||| Also: Stream “Signal” in full
||| Live: Automatic performs Saturday at Desert Daze. They also open for Bauhaus on Nov. 3 and 4 at the Palladium.
||| Previously: “Too Much Money”