Debt is so much easier to clear when the background noise of a suburban home is more than the hum of a 13-year-old refrigerator. There are no children begging to watch weekday cartoons and bothering mommy to make them a snack. Instead, I have New York City’s Automatic Children and their latest 7” inch, Johnny/Now You Know to ebb the silence away.
There’s rebelliousness to their sound; I can feel the leather jacket hanging on my shoulders in James Dean fashion. Their rebellion steams from vocal timbre. No voice on this record sounds exactly like the last, which leads me to think that Adam Lippman and Crista Giuliani are in actuality, four people. It’s a compliment to say the least, as I find different characters in each song adding to the overall narrative of the album.
“Johnny” and “Now You Know,” heavily contrast one another. They start off with a similar rhythm, but are distinguished by their tone. “Johnny,” is more up-tempo– the kind of song you carry to the coast with a grin and cigarette in hand. Despite its melancholy, the remembrance of a friend lost, there is a celebratory ring. I feel I knew who Johnny was, too. In “Now You Know,” it is less commemorative. This is the track you feel yourself take to the streets, stumbling and crashing into the next bar with for a whiskey. Whatever has happened becomes a harsh reality and you’re sure to wake up on the bathroom floor, clothes stained and head pounding.
This leads me to the final track, “Solitude.” Automatic Children has taken me through the motions of grief in one quick sweep. However, at the end of it all, it feels good to be alone and partying in my drunken stupor.
Are you rebel, Dottie? Because if you are, I suggest you grab Automatic Children’s latest and take to the streets with a drink and a cigarette.