Written by ∆³

With a Bruno Mars modeled R&B flair and a hint of 5SOS x Jonas Brothers Pop, artists’ NEKO X JAMES release the first of four singles, “Automatic” featuring Travis Atreo. The duo has teamed up to deliver a bound-to-be chart-topping series of songs!

NEKO X JAMES’ “Automatic” fluxes as a joint exploratory musical conglomerate composed of James Lee’s accurately and effectively amiable vocals and song arrangements. These arrangements are interlaced in multi-platinum producer NEKO’s expressive emprise of studio music improvisation.

“This was the first piece that Erik and I worked on. We had discussed working on some music together in the past, but Erik was in LA for some sessions and we managed to fit a couple hours in. He came up with a Nice groove and it just went from there. After we laid down the foundation and he went back to Sweden, we sketched out different melodies in our respective studios and pieced it together until we felt it was complete. This piece took the most effort in terms of construction, but to me felt like the most fun,” says JAMES.

NEKO adds: “Me and James met up in LA, and we went into the studio with basically nothing. After listening to some music we came up with the bass riff that became the signature sound of the track. From there we worked out the structure of the song, and went back and forth online until we had what’s the song today.”

This first single, “Automatic” allows the listener to silently sit in the background and picture a love story unravel! To date, it’s one of the most resolutely lit sonic attempts of its kind to potentially hit the Pop charts. The song is amorously uplifting to such relative stylistic attempts like all of Justin Timberlake’s collaborations, most Ariana Grande single releases, and about 85% of Bieber’s catalogue. Throughout the song, there is an undeniable anticipation for a “Taylor Swift” love story ending, but the listener is left to wonder!

“‘Automatic’ sounds like the most “pop” single we have amongst all the tracks we’ve written. I also wanted a clear change from the music I had written before,” says JAMES. “Everything on my previous album was a bit dark, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to show a different side. I love songs with groove, and as a former bassist this song felt special from the jump.”

JAMES on his own has slated himself savvy for his warbled work with both NEKO and Travis Atreo while at the same time previously making a name for himself while in the band Royal Pirates. After a freak accident that forced him to quit the band, JAMES pulled together a Kickstarter campaign while in recovery mode in order to fund a solo EP. The Kickstarter campaign more than tripled his goal further showing his determination, ambition and resilience to rise above and pursue music despite injury. At the same, NEKO has established a foremost music publishing and production company in Asia and is a creator of the K-pop/J-pop sound, working with artists like Girls’ Generation, NCT 127 just to name a few. Together, NEKO X JAMES have an uncanny amount of talent to showcase to the world.

NEKO X JAMES’ “Automatic” audibly inaugurates a sound that may or may not sound familiar to some; I guesstimate that it’s either a Moog Synthesizer, or programming to emulate the beat, or perhaps even a really good bass player whose Fender frolicking is on fleek. Either way, it allows the listener to immediately latch onto JAMES’ first few stanzas, “I’ve been lookin’ for something, / get me outta these motions, / I don’t want to feel nothing… / Tell myself I don’t care about you.” JAMES then gallantly glides further along NEKO’s productive efforts with my favorite lines of the song “I’m caught in your gaze, / I’m hooked on every single word you say.” The audibles of NEKO X JAMES throughout all of “Automatic” leaves you anticipating a listen to the rest of their recording sessions together.

“After listening to all the songs we did during our sessions, this one stood out the most and that’s why we decided to make it the first release,” comments NEKO. “Also, James vocals are quite different from the previous releases, and that’s another reason why we wanted to set the tone with it.”

If you’re into a 90’s R&B + Pop vibe then NEKO X JAMES’ latest single, “Automatic” is a win-win for you. You get what will be obvious from listening to JAMES’ catalogue; a promised postulation of his presence as a performer, as well his progression. NEKO also proves that he’s ready to win over the airwaves with his killer production skills. I thought about it, and then I decided I’d say it anyway. In a cheesy, yet fitting manner, it will almost be “Automatic” after listening to this single, that you’ll be on the lookout for what’s next from this dynamic duo, NEKO X JAMES.

Listen To “Automatic”

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