London-based rockers Automatic Laughter have honed a deliciously catchy raw, heavy yet ambient sound that they intriguingly describe as “the polar opposite to Dad rock.”
The quartet of Tara Noble (vocals and synth), Tom Marshall (guitar), Bill Pell (bass and synth), Ramiz Imran (guitar and synth) – which sounds like a lot of synth – met at Westminster University last year through their shared musical interests.
Tara tells us that her initial musical education came from classical music as part of a choir and orchestra before getting into bands before going to university. While Bill and Tom have played music together for years, went to uni to study music, met Tara, began writing music and performing occasional shows before getting Ramiz on board to solidify their sound.
Our first taste of that was the release of debut single Jungle in February. It opens up with Tara’s delicate vocals “‘Cos I’ve been running through the depths of the jungle, and I’ve been getting into depths with you, And all I really want is the fire, And to be getting into trouble with you” supported by a low guitar lick. That continues through to a laid-back rendition of the chorus. It suddenly bursts into life with a heavier guitar lick under Tara’s high-pitched vocals then builds towards a big rocky ending.
On the track, Tara told us: “We’ve had really great feedback from the track, and for anyone who hasn’t listened to it, I would say they should expect it to be an (almost) annoying earworm, despite being a rock band this track has huge pop influences, giving it a catchy hook.”
And Bill added: “When the audience knows more of the lyrics to our tunes than I do; I’d consider it a success.” Give it a listen below:
That was followed by this month’s release of the excellent Feel The Lover, which opens up with Tara’s engaging vocals over a deep bassy sound then dreamy flickering guitars and light drums. Palm-muted guitars kick in under the vocals “Feel the pressure, Feel the pain, Feel the stress and never feel the gain, Feel the pressure, Feel the pain, Feel the stress and never be the same” as it builds up to a big singalong chorus of “Feel the lover, Is there anything or anyone that can help me get out of here.” Cool little guitar bursts follow the chorus then an edgier second verse kicks in and flows into another catchy chorus. Check it out below:
The band fuses together a smorgasbord of musical influences. From Tara’s love of Paramore, Muse and Biffy Clyro and the more recent Yonaka, Marmozets and Wolf Alice, through to Tom’s Queens of the Stone Age and Rage Against The Machine and Bill’s John Mayer and Jeff Buckley inspirations.
As Tom puts it: “I like to think my music taste is pretty varied though which helps me find inspiration from all sorts. I just love the juxtaposition between huge chords and ambient melodies, which we incorporate into our music.”
And on what inspires them to write music, Tara tells us: “Lyrically, I try and avoid writing about love. Yet Jungle somehow ended up being about love. I try and make it as indirect as possible, or what I am feeling in the moment. If something awful happens to me, I channel it into lyrics but so indirectly another meaning comes out through it. A lot of songs are about my past, family and friends/enemies, but twisted into a storyline.”
To which Tom adds: “I guess for me it’s just an urge to be constantly creating things. There’s a rush you get when nurturing your musical babies from childhood, adolescence through to adulthood. There’s an energy you get too when collaborating with people that I can’t get enough of.”
You can see Automatic Laughter at Hope & Anchor in London on 2 May, then at The Islington, in Islington, on 23 May. They’ll also have a video for Feel The Lover out at the end of this month or early next month, ahead of recording new music that will be released over the summer.
As Tara says: “We are very dedicated to what we do and ultimately we are trying to connect with our audience for them to experience the excitement and passion with us. To feel the emotion that we feel and to really enjoy the music by having fun with it.Tom: We don’t bite!! Come have a boogie with us at one of our shows. With all that’s happening in the UK and globally at the moment, it’s a good opportunity to party and just have a good time.”