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AutophobiaTennis System

Quiet Panic has signed LA's acclaimed Tennis System and is unveiling the new single and music video "Truth Hurts", the first track off the forthcoming release 'Autophobia,' scheduled for release in late-Summer 2021. The digital release is also up for pre-order on bandcamp with a June 18, 2021 release date. You can watch the official video for the new single below.

Written and recorded entirely during the pandemic, 'Autophobia' is Tennis System's first new full-length since 2019's 'Lovesick' and marks a thrilling new chapter and a logical shift in sound for the project, led by guitarist/vocalist Matty Taylor.

'Autophobia,' defined by any dictionary, is the persistent, crippling fear of being alone. For Taylor, the very idea of making an album in the midst of a pandemic, in lockdown without a band -- startlingly alone -- was enough to trigger it. For months, as venues sat empty and legions of musicians also searched for meaning, he wrote nothing, played nowhere, and let the dust gather.

“I was done. I didn’t want to make music anymore,” Taylor says. The incessant pressure to garner followers, compromise his vision, and prioritize streams over art had taken its toll on him. And so the pandemic, and the unknowable void it left for musicians, felt like a cosmic sign. “If Chadwick hadn’t called me and said, ‘Why don’t you come down here and make the record?’ I don’t know what the fuck I would have done,” Taylor says. “I wouldn’t have made this record.”

Chadwick is Chadwick Johnson of Hundredth and Pure Violet, and the record they made is 'Autophobia,' the astonishing new album from Tennis System.

Written and produced with Johnson (a friend since he and Taylor toured together in 2017) and mixed and mastered by Sam Pura (The Story So Far, Basement, Spice), 'Autophobia' is a departure from expectation for Tennis System, an auspicious embrace of the moment, and for Taylor, a confrontation of his fear of failing as a solo artist.

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 inspired him now was our basest human instincts, 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 fulfill some craving to not be alone.” Of the collective existential crisis of the Instagram economy, he declares, “It’s autophobia in and of itself.”

Autophobia album artPre-OrderAugust 6th, 2021

Discussion

Jason Gordon

Tennis System ready "Autophobia" with help from Hundredth's Chadwick Johnson

June 4th, 2021

I've always enjoyed Tennis System's brand of melodic guitar driven shoegaze/dream pop with an alternative rock backbone. The new singles from the forthcoming LP "Autophobia" mark a new chapter in Tennis System's evolution, as frontman Matty Taylor is now operating as a solo artist. That said, the new songs still balance the melodic dreampop and shoegaze rock of their previous efforts, while bringing new soundscapes and electronics / synths to it's backbone, and without losing the charm and loud rock feel of their earlier efforts. The production sounds even bigger, the vocals even more polished and on point, and the hooks are fully in place. If these two songs are an indication of what's to come for the upcoming LP, I have a feeling this could be Tennis System's best effort yet, and looking forward to see how these songs come off in a live setting. Fans of Hundredth's last two records should certainly take note, and putting Chadwick Johnson's (Hundreth) personal touch on these songs is certainly a bonus. Really looking forward to hearing these new songs in context with the full LP so I can share some more thoughts.