Tennis System and Hundreth team up for ‘Autophobia’

Tennis System press photo
Credit: Marcus Russell Price

Los Angeles’ Tennis System team up with Hundreth’s Chadwick Johnson to share their new single Autophobia, the title track lifted from the forthcoming LP, set for release in late summer 2021.

Co-written and produced with Johnson (a friend 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 departure from expectation for Tennis System, an auspicious embrace of the moment, and for Tennis System’s Matty Taylor, a confrontation of his fear of failing as a solo 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.” Watch the lyric video for Autophobia via YouTube below.

More about the ‘Autophobia’ LP

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.

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.

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 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.”

‘Autophobia’ is Tennis System’s fourth full-length album, following ‘Lovesick’ (2019), ‘Technicolor Blind’ (2014) and ‘Teenagers’ (2011).

Pre-order ‘Autophobia’ here:

More about Tennis System?

Guitarist/vocalist Matty Taylor’s veteran project launched in Washington, DC, where it quickly gained a reputation for ear-crushing live shows that blended shoegaze grandeur and punk urgency. (Taylor, raised in the DC area, had all but steeped in the music of Fugazi, Bad Brains, and Nation of Ulysses — the sounds of discord that now underpin Tennis System’s sound.) He quickly left for the sunwashed scenes of Los Angeles, where the band’s slash-and-burn shows in near record time earned the project the distinction of being named “one of the city’s best live acts,” by LA Weekly. Soon, they were playing the legendary Amoeba Records, holding court during a residency at the Echo and performing regularly at the city’s iconic Part-Time Punks showcase, not to mention Austin Psych Fest, Noise Pop Fest, Echo Park Rising and the Air + Style festivals. What Tennis System “has perfected is a pulverizing blend of noise and melody,” wrote The Big Takeover, while Revolver says the band’s sound rocks “like a lost Sonic Youth banger.”

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