Meet our new favourite anti-capitalists - AUTOMATIC (USA)

Another of the 16 artists bringing their live sound to Aotearoa for the very first time, we are delighted to welcome Automatic, a three-piece post-punk band joining us from Los Angeles.

Bringing their energetic anti-capitalist indierock ballads to the big stage at Nestfest 2023 are Izzi Glaudini (synth, lead vocals), Halle Saxon (bass, vocals), and Lola Dompé (drums, vocals).

The first thing you might notice on listening to Automatic is how much sound is created by just three instruments. Each instrument plays a powerful part in the sound – the drums and so present and punchy, the bass pulsing and potent, and the howling synth a beautiful and uncommon centrepiece for a post-punk trio.

The vocals often blend into a kind of call-and-response dialogue, hinting at the darker and more destructive elements of modern society. Exactly why we love and need punk music.

So if you are burnt out by the destructive greed of corporations, or sick of billionaires trying to discard the earth, then Automatic is the outlet to channel this rage. Their latest album Excess directly addresses many of these issues.

The opening track “New Beginning” addresses the escapist tendency of greedy billionaires. It’s also the perfect track to introduce yourself to sound and songwriting of Automatic.

The chorus takes aim at greed:

In the service of desire
We will travel far away
Endless service of desire
Every night and every day
In the service of desire
We will throw our lives away
Endless service of desire
Every night and every day

But during the verses we are actually presented with a viewpoint of those leaving earth.

It's almost time to go
Waving to the landscape
There's no one left below

Later in verse two:

Well, who could ever know for certain
How it ever came to this?
Maybe there's a new world out there
We can do it all again.

It’s a beautifully concise way of raising these themes of destruction and repetition. For what would we really do with another planet if we leave because of our inability to look after this Earth?

Synth-driven post-punk is a brilliant vessel to ponder these ideas. There is enough energy and rebellion in the music to channel this pent energy. To shake your body or sing along as you are stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work. To blast full volume once you manage to hit the open roads outside of the city on a Friday night. Music to jump around your house and shake out your angst.

This redemptive and necessary power of music is also touched upon in ‘New Beginning’ with the apocalyptic lyric:

And I can still remеmber dancing

I been hearing music play

Maybe thеre's enough to save us

Maybe there's enough to dream

It's refreshing for us to spotlight a band that is taking a more political note in their music, addressing some of the deeper concerns and yearnings of a modern human trying to live well and create their art.

On the big stage at Nest Fest we think it will be a liberating experience. Especially due the fiery and life-altering reputation of their highly-acclaimed live shows, tearing up the highly
competitive LA scene and releasing two albums with industry legends Stones Throw Records.

We cannot wait to hear their sound live and loud, and fully experience their legendary energy for the first time in Aotearoa. Rumour has it they'll be blasting in the darker hours on the main stage...