Concert Review: The retro-futuristic band Automatic comes back to Montreal with their second album Excess

Automatic playing at Les Foufounes Électriques ESTHER MORAND/The Concordian

 Automatic: fighting capitalism through looped synths 

Automatic performed on Oct. 19 at Les Foufounes Éléctriques, and the show was everything their devout fans were expecting. The trio is composed of Izzy Glaudini, lead vocalist and synth player, Halle Saxon for bass and vocals, and Lola Dompé for drums and vocals. 

“We started in Los Angeles, and we’re all big music fans, we weren’t really close friends, but we all thought we were cool. The best way to start a band is to meet cool people, so that’s what we did,” Glaudini told The Concordian

Automatic’s genre skims between retro and techno-pop, sometimes touching upon apocalyptic futuristic sounds thanks to the lead’s synth. Their lyrics and music videos satirize our current society, with the irony of standing by while capitalism breaks everything as the climate crisis ravages on. 

Post-punk Montreal band La Sécurité opened for them. La Sécurité offered a similar genre in sound and in style. Both bands had taken care to form a retro aesthetic with neat sunglasses, pastel-coloured clothes, and a general irreproachable sense of icon. 

Automatic seemed very focused with their instruments, looking up rarely, moving their bodies only slowly when it resonated naturally with the rhythm, not forcibly. They seemed almost aloof to the crowd in front of them, focused entirely on the music they were playing. 

Automatic sequentially had an even pace all throughout their performance. They wanted the audience to perceive the style they had meticulously chosen. They captured the room’s attention with their futuristic keyboard, vocals, and synth sounds. The bass carried most of the songs.

“We have a minimal style. We’ve never had any guitars, we wanted to make it sound different to a lot of the bands that are going around.” Glaudini noted the importance of having the audience’s attention lead to the sound of the bassist. 

When the show was done, the crowd echoed in applause. Instead of retreating backstage, the trio decided to instead join the crowd amongst their friends. This was both funny and humbling. On stage, musicians are often retracted from their humanity, seen as idol-like figures. Their stepping down from the stage at the end of the show almost shyly universalized us as all human and capable of commonality. 

La Sécurité and Automatic’s music is available on BandCamp.

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