This is the title track of Damon Albarn's debut solo album. Recorded in 2013 at the Blur frontman's West London studio 13, Everyday Robots was produced by XL Recordings head Richard Russell. According to the press release, "The songs' subject matter is more directly personal than before and is inspired by Albarn's experiences from early childhood to now, including the trappings of our modern existence, computer games, mobile phones and nature versus technology."
Albarn came up with this song while stuck in a traffic jam in California. He explained to XFM's John Kennedy. "I was just watching everyone around me and everyone is so lost in their little worlds: on the telephone, listening to music."
One of the verses begins with the lyric, "Everyday Robots just touch thumbs," which Albarn admitted to Kennedy is his vision of years to come. "I always like to sing to the future and imagine it, I've always done that," he said. "I remember when I wrote 'The Universal' it was just when the idea of satellites were really fresh, and the lottery and everything, and now it's just such a part of everyone's reality."
"It's not a direct vision of the future it's just you feel that's what's going to happen," he added. "I like the idea of, in the future, we've only got thumbs. I don't like it, actually, it terrifies me."
The song's music video was created by Argentina-born, London-based artist and designer Aitor Throup, who said that he used, "CGI software and actual cranial scans and facial reconstruction techniques to explore and reveal the process of building a uniquely personal portrait of an artist and individual."
Albarn has written a number of songs set in the future, "The Universal" for example. He told NME: "'Everyday Robots' is another version of that. It's me in the near future, imagining possible outcomes, but not drawing, necessarily, any conclusions."
The song came to Albarn one evening when he was looking at the other side of a Devon sunset. He recalled to The Sun: "I saw the way the cow's shadows became more and more elongated to the point where they looked like a stone circle."
"I imagined the cows becoming human, constantly pausing to document and communicate," Albarn continued. "It's like that dance. We're all involved with technology – people standing there on their phones at train stations… static."
Richard "Lord" Buckley (1906-1960) was a California-based comedian whose hipster aristocratic routines anticipated aspects of the Beat Generation sensibility. This song starts with snippet of him, one of three samples that can be found on Everyday Robots taken from Lord Buckley's monologues.