Motivated by the encouragement of a supportive local scene, AUTOBAHN formed in Leeds in early 2013, and immediately began playing live across the north of England. Those early forays across the Pennines were vital in not only helping the band form their own sound, but also hold a symbolic role in understanding their genesis. The North as both idea and identity is integral to what AUTOBAHN are, where post-industrial landscapes intersect with sudden wide open spaces, a place where community is central, but loneliness can be palpable. There’s a dark, oppressive edge to their music, but a hopefulness too. Sisters of Mercy, yes, but also brothers in arms.
Their debut album Dissemble is out now on Tough Love. Dissemble is an appropriate title (meaning to conceal one’s true motives), because there’s something canny at work here. The surface suggests despair, but scratch deeper and the lyrics display a lightness of touch that skewers the over-earnest and overly-serious.