- 21 Sep 21
Automatic Blue will release forthcoming album 'LOOK COOL DEAD' via Hausu on September 24.
Emerging electronic artist Automatic Blue has unveiled a brand new track from his upcoming album LOOK COOL DEAD in the form of the blistering 'that's what the drugs are for' - premiered below.
Automatic Blue, real name Drew Linehan, is an artist forged his craft through working with punk groups in the past, later working on DIY bedroom pop with Cork's Arthur Valentine and experimental trio Repeater.
Cork label Hausu is a collective who value the creation and support of audio-visual art, which leads their roster of artists to curate video games to accompany their releases.
His adoration of ’90s alt-rock, electronic music and hip-hop beats have allowed him to stand out in a major crowd of the Irish music industry. LOOK COOL DEAD marks a personal and serious statement beyond Drew's earlier work - all at once a darker and heavier Automatic Blue record, a more sonically diverse project, a more polished and cinematic artistic achievement, but also a series of notes on severe struggles with mental health and the long climb to break through.
The Hausu collective has amusingly dubbed his forthcoming album “the spirit of Fearghal McKee being summoned through some arcane cracked VST in Ableton Live. Or if Elliot Smith shared producers with Kendrick Lamar.” We can only approve.
‘LOV3’ channelled the processed vocal style of emo rap with meandering electronic 808 production and self-doubt, while the upbeat ‘Ashtray’ focuses on buzzing guitar sounds. His third single from the project showed moments of bargaining against the oppressive thoughts and finding clarity. The track features a bridge from Arthur Valentine and is sonically minimal; driven mostly by acoustic guitar and drum machine but filled with production flourishes and embellishments.
Lyrically, coping with living with suicidal thoughts is thematically present throughout the record.
'that's what the drugs are for' takes influence from trap beats and hip-hop elements, with Automatic Blue's warped vocals adding to the broody, dark atmosphere behind the swirling sonic air.
"I think “drugs” is one of my favourites from the record because in terms of the album’s themes it captures something more transitional than other songs," Linehan tells Hot Press.
"The song isn’t about exactly about the effects mental illness or the triumphs and failures of recovery but it’s a snapshot of being confronted with that moment where either change or stagnation is an absolute inevitability, and having to truly make that personal decision in life moving forward. I don’t know if that state of mind is talked about much but it’s frightening to be in that rock bottom situation. It’s about that point between making the decision to remain or progress which isn’t really an easy one from a bad mindset, although I’d recommend the latter."
Also accompanying the album are 3D visuals by Aodhagan O'Riabhaigh. Months of hard work have been emblazoned into the record, does Automatic Blue feel the pressure with the release date so close?
"It’s honestly a bit scary to have this album coming out," Drew continues.
"I make music primarily for myself and for my friends in Hausu, so when I’m making the songs I’m not ever focused on outside criticism. Being in lockdown recording and finishing the record naturally made it more personal and introspective too, so I’m also a bit nervous too about some of the things I’m saying and putting out into the world."
"I’m excited for people to hear it but I’m also anxious about it," Linehan acknowledges. "With some of the topics I just hope I spoke about them responsibly and conveyed properly what I intended LOOK COOL DEAD to say. For the record though I do hope sincerely that people who I love enjoy the album and anything after that feels like it’ll be more a bonus to me."
A live show featuring the Hausu label’s roster will take place in Cork’ Cyprus Avenue on November 2nd.
Listen to 'that's what the drugs are for' below:
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