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"Self Machine"
Self machine.jpg
Single by I Blame Coco
from the album The Constant
B-side "Stunned"
Released 11 July 2010 (2010-07-11)
Recorded 2009
Length 3:49
Label Island
Producer(s) Klas Åhlund
I Blame Coco singles chronology
"Self Machine"

"Self Machine" is a song by English band I Blame Coco from their debut album, The Constant. Produced by Klas Åhlund, it was released as the album's second single in digital format on 11 July 2010, with a 12" vinyl released the following day. The single was remixed by the likes of La Roux and Sub Focus, and was added to BBC Radio 1's B List playlist on 9 June 2010.[1] The track was featured in the eighteenth of the fourth season of Gossip Girl, titled "The Kids Stay in the Picture" and aired 18 April 2011.[2]


"Self Machine" is a song about alienation; lead singer Coco Sumner told The Independent that she relates to the loneliness of the robot described in the song, saying, "This little robot can't empathise with anything but himself, so he feels really sorry for himself. Then everyone leaves him because he is selfish, but he can't help it, because he is just a robot and programmed that way."[3] In an interview with the Evening Standard, Sumner explained that the song is not about her own feelings so much as those of the Pixar character WALL-E.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Digital Spy's Nick Levine awarded the song four out of five stars, calling it "a percolating electropop ditty with intriguing lyrics about a 'lonely robot in a wasteland', a nice bit of SAW-style vocal trickery—yes, really!—and a chorus melody that flirts with brilliance."[5] Ben Weisz of musicOMH referred to the song's "glorious synth-pop" as "ubiquitous", adding that "[t]he dystopian depth to the lyrics is rarely encountered in something so catchy and danceable."[6] Alex Denney of the NME commented that the track "recreates The Killers' clubby output, right down to the twinkly smattering of keys."[7]

Commercial performance[edit]

Having been predicted to debut within the top forty by Digital Spy,[8] "Self Machine" debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number sixty-four on 18 July 2010, spending a single week in the top 100.[9] In Germany, the single peaked at number fifty-six and spent ten weeks on the chart.[10]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Selfmachine", directed by Alex Smith,[11] premiered on YouTube on 7 June 2010.[12] It features Sumner and a group of teenagers performing, playing around in an empty, waterless swimming pool. Throughout the video, the teenagers are seen playing with a translucent sheet which is propelled into the air at various stages too. In the latter half of the video, Sumner is seen in slow motion releasing water from her hands.

Track listing[edit]


Chart (2010–11) Peak
Belgian Tip Chart (Flanders)[15] 3
Belgian Tip Chart (Wallonia)[16] 43
German Singles Chart[10] 56
Italian Singles Chart[17] 100
Ukrainian Singles Chart[18] 10
UK Singles Chart[9] 64

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format
United Kingdom 11 July 2010[13][14] Island Records Digital download
12 July 2010[19] 12" single


  1. ^ "Radio 1 Playlist – B List". BBC Radio 1. BBC Online. 9 June 2010. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "The Kids Stay in the Picture". Gossip Girl. Season 4. Episode 18. 18 April 2011. The CW. 
  3. ^ Cripps, Charlotte (30 April 2010). "Coco Sumner – Every little thing Sting's daughter does is magic". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  4. ^ Eyre, Hermione (9 April 2010). "Sumner time: meet Sting's daughter Coco Sumner". Evening Standard. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Levine, Nick (16 July 2010). "I Blame Coco: 'Self Machine'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Weisz, Ben. "I Blame Coco – The Constant". musicOMH. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Denney, Alex (5 November 2010). "Album Review: I Blame Coco – The Constant (Island)". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  8. ^ Levine, Nick (13 July 2010). "Now that's what we call a bumper chart bulletin!". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "I BLAME COCO". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "I Blame Coco | Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). PHONONET GmbH. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  11. ^ Knight, David (11 June 2010). "I Blame Coco's Self Machine by Alex Smith". Promo News. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "I Blame Coco – Selfmachine – OUT NOW". YouTube. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Self Machine – Single by I Blame Coco". iTunes Store UK. Apple Inc. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  14. ^ a b "Selfmachine (Remixes) – EP by I Blame Coco". iTunes Store UK. Apple Inc. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  15. ^ "I Blame Coco – Self Machine" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  16. ^ "I Blame Coco – Self Machine" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  17. ^ "Tutti i successi del 2011" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "Pop" (in Ukrainian). FDR Music Charts. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "Selfmachine [12" VINYL]: I Blame Coco". Retrieved 3 May 2011. 

External links[edit]