Eli Raybon is only a few days shy of 20, but the impending weight of adulthood has turned him into a pressure cooker of creativity. In a scramble to harness his teenage avidity, the young songwriter manifested a breakthrough year, marked by the release of his acclaimed Green EP. The 4-song outing was a tour de force of polymath, new wave synth pop, and it wasn’t long before outlets like Noisey and Paste endorsed him as a maestro of the form.
In short order, Raybon has produced another 80’s drenched stand-alone single, which we have the pleasure of premiering, under the wire of his 20th birthday this Friday. One can only imagine, after listening to his new tune, that the source of this acute anxiety stems from the fear of being destroyed by his own computer before he has a chance to create more content. Eli is only too aware of how absurd this sounds, but take it from him, the struggle is real.
“I was finishing some mixes for last Green and my computer kept freezing, making an unpleasant grinding noise. I realized how much pressure I put on it every day, and how I always expect it to just deal with the workload. It got me thinking: What if it gets sick of dealing with all of it and decided to kill me? As soon as the phrase ‘Computer, Don’t Kill Me’ came into my head, I knew I had a song. The personification of the computer is a little absurd, but the song is still genuine and perhaps a little tragic.”
It’s no surprise that “Computer, Don’t Kill Me” straddles the line between melancholy post-punk balladry and cognizant kitschiness, deploying an array of wild analog synths that include the odd noodling of a stylophone, an instrument which to my knowledge hasn’t appeared since David Bowie used one on “Space Oddity.” It’s these subtle textures that remind one they are in the presence of an apt pupil who will, if he can survive his maniacal working conditions long enough, ascend to the rank of master.