Los Angeles’ acclaimed Tennis System collaborates with Hundreth’s Chadwick Johnson to disclose their new single Autophobia, the title track off the impending LP release, Autophobia, set for publishing in late summer 2021 by Quiet Panic.
Co-written and produced with Johnson (a companion since he and Tennis System toured together in 2017) and mixed and mastered by Sam Pura (The Story So Far, Basement, Spice), Autophobia is a takeoff from expectation for Tennis System, an auspicious embrace of the moment, and for Tennis System’s Matty Taylor, a confrontation of his dread of failing as an independent artist.
Taylor says, “Autophobia (song) is about being in a relationship that has been dead for sometime. Rather than express how you feel about it or put in work to fix it, you bury your thoughts and feelings deep inside to avoid confrontation or having to face your biggest fear- being alone.”
Autophobia, defined by any dictionary, is the diligent, devastating fear of being alone. For Taylor, the general thought of making a collection amidst a pandemic, in lockdown without a band—startlingly alone—was sufficient to trigger it. For quite a long time, as settings sat unfilled and armies of artists additionally looked for significance, he didn’t compose anything, played no place, and let the residue accumulate.
Rather than a failure, Autophobia is nothing short of a wildly catchy and moving album. Tennis System’s most personal offering, it is minimalist and vocals-driven, the unlikely bedroom project of a feral live musician — music to memorialize a lost year. With Johnson, Taylor veered from the scuzzy guitars and pummeling drums he’s known for, instead weaving synth and drum machines with live drums and guitar — and even the hum of a swarm of bees — to form a tapestry of textured soundscapes, unlike anything he’d created before. “Writing these songs without a band let me make music without having to meet anyone’s expectations but my own,” says Taylor. In unprecedented times, “I focused on making the record I wanted to make.”
What roused him currently was our basest human impulses, revealed in stark relief this year. “You see the desperation,” he says. “Relationships were falling apart. You saw people doing Instagram Live every day just to feel a connection to people, to feel relevant, to fulfil some craving to not be alone.” Of the collective existential crisis of the Instagram economy, he declares, “It’s autophobia in and of itself.”