photo credit: Jason Hendardy
Today Neutrals are premiering their “Personal Computing” video and Week in Pop has the premiere. The 7″ single of the same name is due out this Friday, 12/4 & marks the end of the SLR30 series; sign up for the SLR30 Subscription Series here.
Allan from the band and director Jenn Dorn Heard shared their thoughts on the sounds and visions of “Personal Computing”:
Allan: “It may come as a surprise, but I was a nerdy kid. In the early 80s the personal computing boom was in full swing. I skipped Atari went straight from Pong to a Sinclair ZX81 with a 16K Ram Pack and joined the school computer club. It wasn’t long before I was bored with the intricacies of programming but the futuristic aesthetic of computer magazines still grabbed my attention. War Games, Crash Smash, BBC Micro, Apple IIe, Pet Shop Boys on Top Of The Pops… I’m not sure where the sexual fetish angle of the song comes in, maybe something for my shrink to unpack. For the video, we finally got to work with our old friend Jenn Dorn Heard (Sea Blite, Younger Lovers), with the only challenge that it had to be done during lockdown…”
Jenn: “For this video, I combed the Internet for early 80’s computer commercials and documentaries on technology sourced on VHS or BetaMax for the added extra tracking and noise. The song’s lyrics steered me towards footage of men and women gazing excitedly into computer monitors. And, the band’s handsomely-designed album art inspired the color finish. Luckily, the Internet also granted me a live performance of “Personal Computing” shot on a cell phone so I could tie the band in.”
Neutrals are a punk band from the San Francisco Bay Area, channeling a wide range of ’70s and ’80s punk, post-punk, and indie-pop influences. Their debut album “Kebab Disco” came out in 2019 on Emotional Response Records and garnered universal acclaim as “an excellent collection of terse melodies, unique storytelling, and scraping pop. (AllMusic)”. The band followed-up with an excellent five song EP earlier this year on Domestic Departure.
“Personal Computing” b/w “In The Future” is their new single and has the distinction of being the final entry in our SLR30 Singles Series. Both sides were recorded just before the COVID-19 lockdown began and share a bittersweet nostalgia for an imagined rose-tinted future that never was. The mood of thwarted utopian dreams feels all too appropriate right now and the tense, angular songs on this single are an ideal soundtrack for this unsettled moment.
If you know much about the history of the label, you know that Slumberland began in 1989 as a 7″ label and was always inspired by the ephemeral and often electric pleasures to be had from the perfect single. Featuring a concentrated taste of what an artist has to offer, the 7″ was traditionally the format of choice for young bands just getting their feet under them, as well as for chart-bound efforts by established bands. Over the last 30 years Slumberland has released over 130 7″s, and even though downloads and streaming and playlisting have stolen a lot of the “you heard it here first” thunder from the vinyl single, we think that there’s still something pretty magical about the not-so-humble 7″.
To help celebrate Slumberland’s 30th birthday and help folks reconnect with our favorite vinyl format, we have launched the SLR30 Singles Subscription Series. The goal is to work with a group of artists not traditionally associated with the label, to showcase bands’ best material and, as always, to help get some of the finest music around out there in a tangible format. The end of the series will also include a bonus single from Black Tambourine, which will be exclusively for SLR30 subscribers.