Tennis System has announced a short run of West Coast dates in December (SF, LA and San Diego) with Fearing and Deyssi. See dates/admat below.
The upcoming ‘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.”