Single review by KevW
London duo Automatic Writing have taken the bleaker side of retro synth music and incorporated elements of witch-house and other modern offshoots/reinterpretations for this, their debut single which explores the colder, darker side of electro-pop. Comprised of brothers Neave and Jamie Merrick, they cite Berlin-period Bowie, Wild Beasts, John Maus and others as potential comparisons and it's a pretty good call. 'Falling' begins with waves of lofty synth, calming down to let the vocals (somewhere between Bowie and Wild Beasts) take over for the verses, it's a curious intonation and comes across as being somewhat otherworldly, almost disturbed. The voice suits the music down to the ground and when it joins force with those mighty electronic sounds for the chorus its impressively sweeping.
The coarser 'Continuous' has a less human feel, this time the vocals almost sound robotic and the music harsher and less forgiving. Yet there are points where their pop heart gets the better of them and the mood is never allowed to deepen too much. It's the more experimental of the two and makes use of a what sounds like antique electronic equipment, the beats designed for a retro vibe. 'Continuous' is certainly the colder of the tracks and is also given the remix treatment courtesy of Viktor Magic who raises the tempo until we get Giorgio Moroder dancing with the devil, pushing those flimsy beats and weighing them down under a thicker layer of atmospherics. Automating Writing are a bit of an amalgamation of much that you've heard before, but they pull it of in style. Well worth a listen.
Automatic Writing's website
Stream or buy the EP
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