Automaton (song)

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Jamiroquai - Automaton RSD cover art.jpg
Single by Jamiroquai
from the album Automaton
B-side "Nights Out in the Jungle"
Released 27 January 2017
Length 4:48
Label Virgin EMI
  • Matt Johnson
  • Jay Kay
Jamiroquai singles chronology
"Cloud 9"
"Cloud 9"

"Automaton" is a song by English funk band Jamiroquai. It was released as the lead single from their eighth studio album, Automaton (2017), on 27 January 2017. The song peaked at number 36 in France, number 61 in Japan, number 65 in Scotland, and number 31 on the U.S. Billboard Dance/Electronic Songs chart.


"Automaton" was written and produced by Jamiroquai members Matt Johnson and Jay Kay.[1] Kay also provided vocals for the track.[2] It is a disco,[1][3] funk,[1][3] synthpop,[4] and dance-pop[5] song that has drawn several comparisons to the works of French electronic music duo Daft Punk.[2][3][5][6] The song features an instrumental that contains synthesisers which have been compared with those from the soundtrack for the 1982 film Tron, as well as vocals that feature a vocoder effect.[6] Near the end of the song, Kay engages in a rap. Both Billboard and PopMatters compared his rap verse to the work of Afrika Bambaataa.[2][7] "Automaton" was described as a "sci-fi wonderland of vocoders and electronic whirs" by Ben Kaye of Consequence of Sound.[1] Daniel Kreps of Rolling Stone described the song's progression as "propulsive verses [that] suddenly make way for the track's booming chorus before abruptly turning into a Daft Punk-like bridge where a synthetic voice chants 'I'm automaton.'"[5]


"Automaton" premiered on 26 January 2017 during The Jo Whiley Show on BBC Radio 2 and was released as a single the following day, acting as their first single in seven years.[3] A music video was released alongside the song on the same day.[8] It was announced on 22 March that the song would receive a release as a limited edition 10-inch vinyl in the UK for Record Store Day 2017, which takes place on 22 April. "Nights Out in the Jungle" acts as the vinyl's B-side.[9]

Music video

A music video for "Automaton" was released to coincide with its release.[8] The video was directed by Charlie Lightening, with some creative direction done by Jay Kay.[2] A nuclear explosion is shown at the very start of the video; Daniel Kreps thought it was fitting, as the Doomsday Clock had moved closer to midnight on the day of its release.[5] Kay's usage of headgear in videos continues, as he dons a light-up helmet in this one.[10] Throughout the video, Kay explores different locations,[10] including, Orford Ness (many times throughout the video), a post-apocalyptic London and the tunnels of its Underground railroad network.[5] Science fiction imagery is shown throughout, as well.[11]

Track listing

Download and streaming release
No. Title Length
1. "Automaton" 4:48
2. "Automaton (Deetron Remix)" 6:45
Vinyl release
Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Automaton" 4:48
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Nights Out in the Jungle" 5:09


Chart (2017) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[12] 388
Belgium Dance (Ultratop Flanders)[13] 37
France (SNEP)[14] 36
Hungary (Single Top 40)[15] 37
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[16] 61
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[17] 65
US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs (Billboard)[18] 31

Release history

Region Date Format Label Catalogue no.
Worldwide 27 January 2017 Virgin EMI 00602557356496[13]
 United Kingdom 22 April 2017 10" vinyl (Record Store Day) VST 2155[19]


  1. ^ a b c d Kaye, Ben (27 January 2017). "Jamiroquai detail new album, Automaton, share video for title track — watch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Kaufman, Gil (27 January 2017). "Jamiroquai Drops 'Automaton' Video, Album Due March 31". Billboard. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d April Clare Welsh (27 January 2017). "Listen to Jamiroquai's Daft Punk-inspired new single 'Automaton'". Fact. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  4. ^ Kyriazis, Stefan (16 January 2017). "Jamiroquai Automaton FIRST listen – After 7 year break, watch the new video here". Daily Express. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e Kreps, Daniel (27 January 2017). "Jamiroquai Announce New LP 'Automaton,' Unveil Title Track Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b Lockett, Dee (27 January 2017). "Jamiroquai Gets His Daft Punk on in New Song Aptly Named 'Automaton'". Vulture. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Jamiroquai – "Automaton" (Singles Going Steady)". PopMatters. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  8. ^ a b Minsker, Evan (27 January 2017). "Jamiroquai Announce New Album Automaton, Share Video for New Song: Watch". Pitchfork. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  9. ^ Rowe, David (22 March 2017). "Record Store Day 2017 includes 10" Automaton vinyl release". Funkin. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  10. ^ a b Kornhaber, Spencer (27 January 2017). "Escape to the Future With Missy Elliott and Jamiroquai". The Atlantic. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  11. ^ Rodriguez, Krystal (27 January 2017). "Jamiroquai Return With New Single, "Automaton"". Thump. Vice. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  12. ^ "Response from ARIA re: Jamiroquai ARIA singles chart history, received 19 September 2017". Retrieved 19 September 2017. N.B. The High Point number in the NAT column represents the single's peak on the national chart.
  13. ^ a b " – Jamiroquai – Automaton" (in Dutch). Ultratop Dance. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  14. ^ " – Jamiroquai – Automaton" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  16. ^ "Jamiroquai Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Jamiroquai Chart History (Hot Dance/Electronic Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Images for Jamiroquai - Automaton". Discogs. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
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