Celebrated pop rock quintet Autotelic marks their decade-old tenure through a show dubbed Isang Dekadang Autotelic, happening November 26, 2022, at 123 Block in Mandala Park, Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.
Formed in 2012 initially as a “side project” of sorts to the bands they were then in, the group soon found themselves—after a rigorous workshop of their intended sound, target milestones, and ballpark aesthetic—drawn to the union at hand. The band is made up of singer-guitarist Josh Villena, guitarist Neil Tin, bassist Timothy “Pabs” Vargas, synth player EJ Edralin, and drummer Gep Macadaeg.
More than spirited meeting-of-minds or spontaneous jam, those initial get-togethers became a problem-solving exercise. They asked themselves, “how do we stand apart?”
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In Villena, they certainly had a hook-churning pop machine, but it was up to the rest of them to fashion a sound largely (if not entirely) theirs. The answer lay in their shared love for OPM, sure, but also in their common adoration for dance-pop, electronic music, and Japanese ephemera. This was evident in their debut eponymous EP (released in 2014), which boasted a heady mix of danceable guitar pop and future-forward indie rock. The narratives veered from typical lovelorn fare but remained nevertheless accessible.
“We wanted to make a dent, even just for a little bit,” Macadaeg confessed. That dent became a burrow, and that ripple morphed into waves. Autotelic played bars like they were arenas; they projected on TV the way they would in a small café.
Armed with infectious tunes and bob-worthy arrangements, unsuspecting slices of life like “Dahilan,” “Laro,” “Languyin,” “Gising,” and “Takipsilim” became more than songs. They became choice pieces of furniture in an endearing, endeared, and well-appointed home.
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Both critics and fans agree. In their decade-long career, Autotelic snagged accolades from Jam 88.3, Jack Daniel’s, Vandals on the Wall, MYX Awards, and, most notably, the Awit Awards, where they won Best Performance By a New Group Recording Artist for “Laro” in 2017.
“We weren’t gunning for these things, but we always appreciated it,” Neil shared, stressing that more than the approval of suits, the band has always chased the approval of their fans. They measure themselves not by citations but by the immediacy of the live show. Their forthcoming anniversary show on November 26 seeks to celebrate all of this and more. With fellow self-made stars in the marquee—December Avenue and Ang Bandang Shirley—the show is sure to give fans a worthwhile weekend to look forward to.
To learn more about the group, by visiting their Facebook page at facebook.com/autotelicmusic/.
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