Tautologic - Re:Psychle

BACK STORY

Jim DeRogatis of NPR's Sound Opinions radio show calls Tautologic's music "an impressively ambitious example of virtuosic musicianship and deft arrangements navigating myriad sounds and styles without ever losing that essential melodic thread or propulsive rock driveā€¦. Tautologic is all the more relevant for lyrics that deal not with lamia, slippermen, tales from topographic oceans and the other stuff or progressive-rock lore, but with Ray Davies-style sociological skewerings of 'burnout roommates and their psychotic crack-whore girlfriends, tube socks, crazy homeless people, indie hipsters, quasi-terroristic rants against totalitarian utility companies and anything else that entertains and/or irritates.'"

The lyrical themes in Re:Psychle emerged almost in hindsight. Primary songwriter Ethan Sellers lived in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood for 12 years, first attending (and later working at) the University of Chicago before launching his music career. During that time, his observational songwriting style documented some of the local eccentrics' stories. Sellers learned their stories through conversations with strangers that happened more easily in pre-smartphone days. Addiction and mental illness colored many of their stories. Their experiences and perspectives opened up windows on a host of topics - veterans' issues, religious belief in secularizing society, addiction, conspiracy theories, materialism, mental health, celebrity culture, and the need for re-connection with nature.

Tautologic premiered the album's songs in a one-off multi-media presentation at the University of Chicago's 2005 Festival of the Arts, after which Sellers posted several narrative videos from the album on YouTube. In the bedroom studio of a condo located just down the street from President Obama's mansion, Sellers completed work on the recordings in 2006. He'd been laid-off from his day job and decided to pursue music full-time. The album was to become a "calling card" not only for the band, but for Sellers' skills/services as a producer, composer, and musician. Sellers lived frugally and saved up the album's promotional budget from his various gigs, students, and production clients. Everything was on-track until the Great Recession decimated his client base, forcing Sellers to spend his album release fund on survival instead. Nine years and thousands of gigs/lessons/sessions later, Sellers has re-built both his personal emergency fund and the album's promotional budget for Tautologic's most ambitious release to date.

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